Orchard Dump
Webmatters : St Vaast Post Military Cemetery, Richebourg- l'Avoué

St Vaast Post Military Cemetery


The cemetery lies near the village of Richebourg-l’Avoué which is 9 kilometres north-east of Béthune. From Béthune follow the D 171 toward Armentières and progress onto the D 166 proceeding into the outskirts of Richebourg. Take a left turning into Rue des charbonniers for approximately 2 kilometres and the cemetery is on the right hand side.

It should be understood that the two villages of Richebourg l’Avoué and Richebourg St Vaast (which is how they are still shown on some maps) now form the one administrative entity : Richebourg.

Decimal50.584502.74871 Map
St Vaast Post Military Cemetery

Historical Information

Richebourg-L’Avoué village remained in British hands from the Autumn of 1914 to the 9th April 1918, though the front line was within 1.6 kilometres of it.

It was recovered in September 1918. The strong point from which the cemetery was named was in turn named from the hamlet of St Vaast, between the village of Richebourg-St Vaast and Goix-Barbée.

St Vaast Post Military Cemetery

Indian Soldiers

It stands in an old orchard between two farm buildings, where a trench tramway had its terminus and a Dressing Station was established. It was begun in May 1915, at the time of the Battle of Festubert, and used by fighting units and Field Ambulances until July 1917.

In April and May 1918, the Germans buried 90 of their men at the South-East end, and in September and October 1918, 18 further British dead were buried in Plot V. Eleven Portuguese soldiers buried here in May-July 1917, have been removed to the Portuguese Military Cemetery.

There are now nearly 800, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, a small number are unidentified. Special memorials are erected to three soldiers from the United Kingdom, buried in the cemetery, whose graves cannot now be traced.

The cemetery covers an area of 4,080 square metres and is enclosed by a flint wall.

St Vaast Post Military Cemetery

German graves – distinguishable by their triangular tops

Private James Honeysett

Private James Honeysett SD/2707
13th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment
Died on 30th June 1916 aged 36
Husband of Alice Honeysett,
of 2, Laburnum Cottages, Sidley, Bexhill-on-Sea.

Grave: III Q 4

His brother Cecil Honeysett SD/2706 was also killed this day during the Boar’s Head action and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.

Private Leonard Blaker

Private Leonard Blaker SD/3525
13th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment
Died on 30th June 1916 aged 29
Son of Benjamin and Lucy Blaker,
of 12, Richmond Rd., Worthing

Grave: III S 5

His brother Frank Blaker SD/1659 of the 12th Bn was also killed this day during the action and is also commemorated on the Loos Memorial.

Private Frank Fleet

Private Frank Fleet 2913
13th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment
Died on 30th June 1916 aged 22
Son of the late Mr and Mrs Frank Fleet,
of Portsmouth

Another victim of the Boar’s Head diversion

Grave: III E 10

Private Harry Mercer

Private Harry Mercer SD/4810
11th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment
Died on 30th June 1916 aged 17
Son of Charles and Caroline Mercer,
of Starrs Green, Battle, Sussex

Grave: III A 10

Lt Colonel Edmund Bousfield

Lt Colonel Edmund Bousfield
123rd Outram’s Rifles
Attached 1st KGO Gurkha Rifles
Died on 25th September 1915 aged 41
Son of Edmund and Louisa Bousfield

Grave: II A 2

Private Wilson Nield

Private Wilson Nield 25629
15th Bn Sherwood Foresters
Notts and Derby Regiment
Died on 30th May 1916 aged 23
Son of Mrs Emma Nield

We spend our years
As a tale that is told

Grave: III J 3

Captain Cyril Holland

Captain Cyril Holland
Royal Field Artillery
Died on 9th May 1915
Eldest son of playwright and poet Oscar Wilde,
and Constance Lloyd Wilde, later Holland

Grave: I A 1

Shot at Dawn

Private Ernest Beaumont

Private Ernest Beaumont 8710
2nd Bn Leicestershire Regiment
Died on 24th June 1915 aged 27
Son of James and Annie Beaumont,
of 35, Russell St, Hills Rd, Cambridge

Grave: I G 1

Shot for desertion

Private Beaumont failed to return to his unit on the 14th March 1915. Having landed at Le Havre he made his way to Rouen where he was eventually arrested on the 4th May.

Other cemeteries in the area