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Webmatters : Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension

Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension


Bailleul is a large town in France, near the Belgian border, 14.5 kilometres south-west of Ieper and on the main road from St Omer to Lille. From the Grand Place, take the Ieper road and 400 metres along this road is a sign indicating the direction of the cemetery. Turn right into a small road and follow for approximately 400 metres.

The cemetery is on the right and the Communal Cemetery Extension is at the bottom end.

On leaving you have to follow the one-way system. Coming out onto the main road turning right will bring you back up into Bailleul’s main square.

Note the X road sign as you emerge back into the street: this is a priority from the right junction — traffic on the main road coming from your left should give way.

GPS N E Wikimapia
Decimal 50.738479 2.743717 Map

Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension


Historical Information

Bailleul was occupied on 14th October 1914 by the 19th Brigade and the 4th Division. It became an important railhead, air depot and hospital centre, with the 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 11th, 53rd, 1st Canadian and 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Stations quartered in it for considerable periods. It was a Corps headquarters until July 1917, when it was severely bombed and shelled, and after the Battle of Bailleul (13th-15th April 1918), it fell into German hands and was not retaken until 30th August 1918.

The earliest Commonwealth burials at Bailleul were made at the east end of the communal cemetery and in April 1915, when the space available had been filled, the extension was opened on the east side of the cemetery. The extension was used until April 1918, and again in September, and after the Armistice graves were brought in from the neighbouring battlefields.

Bailleul Communal Cemetery contains 610 Commonwealth burials of the First World War; 17 of the graves were destroyed by shell fire and are represented by special memorials.

Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension contains 4,403 Commonwealth burials of the First World War; 11 of the graves made in April 1918 were destroyed by shell fire and are represented by special memorials. There are also 17 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War and 154 German burials from both wars.

Both the Commonwealth plot in the communal cemetery and the extension were designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension


Thomas Mottershead VC DCM

1396 Sergeant Thomas Mottershead VC DCM
20th Sqdn Royal Flying Corps
Died on 12th January 1917 aged 27
Son of Thomas and Lucy Mottershead
of Widnes
Husband of Lilian Mottershead
of 31, Lilac Avenue, Widnes, Lancs

Grave: III A 126

The London Gazette 29937
9th February 1917

For most conspicuous bravery, endurance and skill, when attacked at an altitude of 9,000 feet [2 800 metres]; the petrol tank was pierced and the machine set on fire. Enveloped in flames, which his Observer, Lieutenant Gower was unable to subdue, this very gallant soldier succeeded in bringing his aeroplane back to our lines, and though he made a successful landing, the machine collapsed on touching the ground, pinning him beneath wreckage from which he was subsequently rescued.

Though suffering extreme torture from burns, Sergeant Mottershead showed the most conspicuous presence of mind in the careful selection of a landing place, and his wonderful endurance and fortitude undoubtedly saved the life of his Observer. He has since succumbed to his injuries.


Brigadier General Charles Brown

Brigadier General Charles Brown DSO
Commanding 1st NZ Infantry Brigade
Died on 8th June 1917
Husband of Mrs Millie Brown
of 182, Murphy St, Wellington, New Zealand

Grave: III C 265

Brigadier General Francis Johnston

Brigadier General Francis Johnston CB
Commanding 3rd NZ (Rifle) Brigade
Formerly North Staffordshire Regiment
Died on 7th August 1917 aged 45

Commanded the 1st New Zealand Brigade at Gallipoli.

Husband of Gwen Johnston
of 29, Bullingham Mansions, Campden Hill
London, W8
Cross of the Karageorge 3rd Class (with swords) Serbia

Grave: III C 260

In theory New Zealand headstones should not carry an epitaph. As the inscription was payable their government decided that for the sake of fairness nobody would be allowed to have one. Brigadier General Harry Fulton, buried at Doullens also has an inscription. Perhaps it’s a General thing !

Captain Eric Alley

Captain Eric Alley
2nd Bn Otago Regiment
Died on 17th June 1916 aged 23
Son of Frederick and Clara Alley
of 36, Russley Rd., Riccarton, Christchurch
New Zealand
Wounded at Gallipolli and at Armentières

Grave: II E 201

Corporal John De Souza

Corporal John De Souza 11063
C Coy 8th Bn British West Indies Regiment
Died on 19th November 1917 aged 36
Son of Alexander and Marion De Souza
of Venezuela;
Husband of Marion De Souza
of 74, D’Urban St, Georgetown, Demerara
British Guiana

Grave: III E 55

Private Cecil Knott

Private Cecil Knott 7261
50th Bn Australian Infantry
Died on 20th January 1918 aged 22
Son of Robert and Julia Knott
of Dumbleyung, Western Australia

Grave: III E 2

Too far away, thy grave to see
Not too far, to think of thee

Private William Bleackley

Private William Bleackley 16438
King’s Own
Royal Lancaster Regiment
Died on 7th September 1917 aged 43
Son of Thomas and Alice Bleackley
of Bolton
Husband of Ellen Bleackley
of 70, Lonsdale Rd, Bolton

Grave: III E 203

Captain John Macdonald

Captain John Macdonald
Special List
Directorate of Graves Registrations and Enquiries
Died on 18th March 1916 aged 49
Son of Sir John Macdonald, G.C.B
Husband of Katherine Macdonald
of Harfield, Hambledon, Hant

Grave: II B 79

Killed by shellfire
Whilst erecting crosses
Along Ypres-Menin Road

Private Andrew Scott

Private Andrew Scott 10077
8th Bn The Black Watch
Royal Highlanders
Died on 24th September 1916 aged 17
Son of William and Isabel Scott
of 5, Low Waters, Hamilton, Lanarkshire

Grave: II C 174

Private Joe Smith

Private Joe Smith 22746
12th Bn Royal Scots
Died on 4th February 1916 aged 17
Son of Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
of 252, Manchester Rd. West, Little Hulton, Bolton

Grave: II C 108

Corporal Tionesini

Corporal Tionesini 16/1133
NZ Maori Battalion
Died on 31st May 1916
Husband of Maite Hakupu
of Niue, Auckland, New Zealand.

Grave: II B 127


Shot at Dawn

Lance Corporal William Moon

Lance Corporal William Moon 17790
11th Bn Cheshire Regiment
Died on 21st November 1916 aged 20
Son of Mrs M Moon
of 5, Blue Coat School, Chester

Grave: III A 219

Shot at Dawn for desertion

Lance Corporal Moon had deserted at some time during the Somme Battle and was tried at a Courts Martial on the 11th November 1916, convicted and shot 10 days later.

Private William Roberts

Private William Roberts 2408
4th Bn Royal Fusiliers
Died on 29th May 1916

Grave: II B 10

Shot at Dawn for desertion

A soldier from November 1914 Roberts was injured in the fighting around Hooge in June 1915. Returning to his battalion, having recovered, he found himself back near Hooge in September 1915. During the attacks launched here in support of the Battle of Loos in France Roberts absconded from his unit — though remained in the rear areas near Brandhoek where he was arrested on 4th May 1916.

Whilst imprisoned at Loker he managed to escape only to be re-arrested. At his trial in Loker on the 20th May, his previously good record was not enough to save him.

Private John Rogers

Private John Rogers 26028
2nd Bn South Lancashire Regiment
Died on 9th March 1917
Husband of Harriett Rogers
of 34, Luke Street, Liverpool

Grave: III A 3

Shot at Dawn for desertion

Rogers deserted whilst serving in the trenches.


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

CWGC Poppy Button