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Webmatters : Rue du Bois Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix
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Rue du Bois Military Cemetery


The village of Fleurbaix is approximately 5 kilometres south-west of Armentières and Rue-du-Bois Military Cemetery is 3 kilometres south-west of the village on the D171.

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Decimal 50.629187 2.822864 Map

Rue du Bois Military Cemetery


Historical Information

Australian mass grave
Australian Mass Grave

The village was in Allied hands during the greater part of the war but it was captured by the Germans on 9th April 1918 after a very gallant defence by the 12th Suffolks. It remained within the German lines until the following September.

The original Rue-du-Bois Cemetery, now comprising Plot I and Rows A and B of Plot II, was begun in November 1914 and used until December 1916. It was reopened in January 1918, and again in October. The majority of the graves were Australian, with Plot I, Row B, containing the graves of 27 soldiers of the 5th Australian Division who died in the Attack at Fromelles (19-20th July 1916).

Plot II, Row A contains two big graves into which, about the time of the Armistice, the remains of soldiers of the 5th Australian Division and the 2nd/1st Bucks Battalion were brought from the battlefield of Fromelles.

The number of the dead in these graves is not certain, but it is believed that the Australian grave contains 22 bodies and the Bucks grave 52.

The cemetery was enlarged after the Armistice when 423 graves were brought in from the surrounding battlefields and from certain small cemeteries, including :

  • Laventie German Cemetery, which was on the road going North from Laventie Village. The graves of 19 soldiers from the United Kingdom were found in this cemetery. The German graves were moved to Sailly-sur-la-Lys German Cemetery.
  • Picantin Post Cemeteries, Laventie, was in the fields West of Picantin. These were two graveyards made in 1915, each containing the graves of 25 soldiers from the United Kingdom.
  • Tilleloy Cemetery, was near the road between Picantin and Le Tilleloy. It contained the graves of 27 soldiers from the United Kingdom.

Rue-du-Bois Cemetery now contains 845 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 395 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 13 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. There is also one German grave.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

Rue du Bois Military Cemetery


Private John Carey

Private John Carey 34812
53rd Bn Australian Infantry
Died on 19th July 1916 aged 23
Son of Patrick and Bridget Carey
of Kinchela, New South Wales

Grave: I F 16

Rifleman William Ashworth

Rifleman William Ashworth S/5579
10th Bn Rifle Brigade
Died on 7th December 1915 aged 25

Grave: I D 1

Private Thomas McCarthy

Private Thomas McCarthy 2637
60th Bn Australian Infantry
Died on 1st August 1916 aged 28
Son of Thomas and Foster McCarthy
Native of Waverley, New South Wales

Grave: I G 1


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

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