Orchard Dump
Webmatters : Nine Elms Military Cemetery, Thélus
Rough Map of Area

Nine Elms Military Cemetery


Thelus is a village about 6.5 km north of Arras and 1 km east of the main road from Arras to Lens. The cemetery is on the western side of the main road and about 1.5 km south of the village.

That makes it sound easy to get to which is not really the case as the road system has changed beyond recognition. The cemetery is now on the other side of the crash barriers on the N 17. You must not park here.

From Arras, head for Vimy on the D937. At Neuville St Vaast turn right (for the Canadian Monument) but then take right (D 49) towards Thélus. Once out of the village you will see the CWGC signs pointing up a rough track to your right.

From the A 26 Autoroute come off at Vimy and at the Canadian Artillery Monument at Thélus take the D 49 towards Neuville St Vaast. The track will be on your left.

Beware of potholes. Continue along this track and then turn left. This will bring you to Arras Road Cemetery. Continuing along this track will bring you to Nine Elms Military Cemetery.

Decimal50.346352.78449 Map
Nine Elms Military Cemetery, Thélus

Historical Information

NINE ELMS was the name given by the Army to a group of trees 460 metres East of the Arras-Lens main road, between Thélus and Roclincourt.

The cemetery was begun, after the capture of Vimy Ridge, by the burial in what is now Plot I, Row A of 80 men of the 14th Canadian Infantry Battalion, who fell on the 9th April 1917; and this and the next row were filled by June 1917.

14th Bn CEF - Royal Montreal Regiment

This group of graves forms hallowed ground to the Royal Montreal Regiment (14th Bn CEF)

Three burials were made in Plot I, Row C, in July 1918. The rest of the cemetery was made after the Armistice by the concentration of British and French graves from the battlefields of Vimy and Neuville-St. Vaast and from certain small cemeteries, including:-

  • Arras Road Cemetery, Thélus, on the roadside a little North of Nine Elms Cemetery. This graveyard, originally called “CA 39,” contained the graves of 46 Canadian soldiers, 39 of whom belonged to the 15th Battalion, and most of whom fell on the 9th April 1917.
  • Grave CA 35, Neuville-St. Vaast, 914 metres West of Nine Elms Cemetery, in which were buried 23 Canadian soldiers of the 15th Battalion who fell on the 9th April 1917.
CA 35, Nine Elms Military and CA 39

From CA 35 looking down towards Nine Elms. CA 39 was in the trees on the far side of the main road

  • Grave CA 26, Roclincourt, by the roadside a little South of Nine Elms Cemetery, in which were buried 72 Canadian soldiers of the 5th Battalion who fell on the 9th April 1917.
  • Grave CB 10, Thélus, 274 metres South-West of the hamlet of Les Tilleuls, in which were buried 52 Canadian soldiers and two from the United Kingdom who fell in April and May 1917.
  • Grave CC 3, Vimy, just South of the highest point of the Ridge, in which were buried 58 Canadian soldiers who fell on the 9th and 10th April 1917.
  • Grave CA 40, Thélus, 274 metres West of the main road, by the light railway track. Here were buried 44 Canadian soldiers of the 16th Battalion who fell on the 9th April 1917.

It would appear from research carried out in Canada that CA 40 Cemetery was never relocated.
The graves have yet to be discovered. [April 2017].

  • Roclincourt Square Cemetery (or Roclincourt Forward Cemetery No.5), 1 kilometre North of the village of Roclincourt, contained the graves of 23 soldiers of the 51st (Highland) Division who fell on the 9th April 1917.
  • Seaforth Grave, Roclincourt (or Roclincourt Forward Cemetery No.4), a little North-West of the Square Cemetery. Here were buried twelve NCOs and men of the 1st/4th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders who fell on the 9th April 1917.

The numerous groups of graves made about this time by the Canadian Corps Burial Officer were, as a rule, not named, but serially lettered and numbered.

Nine Elms Military Cemetery, Thélus

CA 35 and the front line was situated, as a rough reference, along the ridge

There are now nearly 700, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, almost 150 are unidentified and a special memorial is erected to one Canadian soldier, believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of 44 soldiers from Canada and ten from the United Kingdom, buried in other cemeteries, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire.

Four graves in Plot IV, identified as a whole but not individually, are marked by headstones bearing the additional words: Buried near this spot. The great majority of the British graves are of April 1917; the French are of 1914 and 1915. 177 French graves have been removed to other cemeteries.

The cemetery covers an area of 3,355 square metres and is enclosed by a low brick wall.

Nine Elms Military Cemetery, Thélus

The Memorial to those whose graves were lost at Arras Road Cemetery, Thélus.
That cemetery was created by the 15th Bn CEF and their memorial cross is at Écurie

Brothers who died the same day

The West Brothers

Private Bill West 797116
14th Bn Canadian Infantry
Royal Montreal Regiment
Died on 9th April 1917 aged 19

Private Arthur West 797131
14th Bn Canadian Infantry
Royal Montreal Regiment
Died on 9th April 1917 aged 27

Sons of Abram and Emmeline West
of Kinglake, Ontario

Grave: I A 3

In loving memory
Of our beloved sons
Who died for King
And Country

A third brother, Lewis, was killed on 7th September 1917 whilst serving in the same battalion. He is buried in Lapugnoy Military Cemetery (Grave: VI A 3)

Private J Duffey

Private J Duffey 174256
3rd Coy Canadian Machine Gun Corps
Died on 9th April 1917

Grave: I E 2

Private Edmond Jaynes

Private Edmond Jaynes 679267
15th Bn Canadian Infantry
48th Highlanders of Canada
Died on 9th June 1917 aged 25
Son of Arthur and Nellie Jaynes
of 100, Dupont St., Toronto, Ontario

Grave: I B 2

Serjeant J Fraser

Serjeant J Fraser 266016
1/6th Bn Seaforth Highlanders
Died on 28th April 1917

Grave: I G 20

Private Orlando Wilcox

Private Orlando Wilcox 192143
15th Bn Canadian Infantry
48th Highlanders of Canada
Died on 9th April 1917 aged 20
Son of Mrs R Wilcox
of 169 Montrose Avenue, Toronto

Grave: I E 21

Like L/Cpl Valley (below) Wilcox is
remembered on the memorial cross at Écurie

Private J Fulton

Lance Corporal John Fulton 438043
Served as Fred Valley
15th Bn Canadian Infantry
48th Highlanders of Canada
Died on 9th April 1917 aged 36
Son of Mrs F Valley
of Kingston, Ontario

Grave: I E 26

Private Ralph Morrow

Private Ralph Morrow 352282
1/9th Bn Royal Scots
Died on 9th April 1917 aged 30
Husband of Isabella Morrow
of 10, Robertson St., Partick West, Glasgow

Grave: IV F 17

Other cemeteries in the area