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Webmatters : Douai Communal Cemetery

Douai Communal Cemetery


Douai is a large town about 24 kilometres north-east of Arras and the communal cemetery is on the south-east of the town. From the town centre follow the signs for Derain and Auberchicourt. Traverse the bridge over the main railway line and the civil cemetery is located 45 metres further on to the left. The communal cemetery is located at the very rear of the civil cemetery when viewing from the entrance.

There are a few parking spaces outside along the main road.
Turn around at the next junction — beware of the Trams.

GPS N E Wikimapia
Decimal 50.364442 3.094507 Map

Douai Communal Cemetery


Historical Information

Douai was occupied by French troops and the Royal Naval Air Service on the 22nd September 1914, and captured by the Germans on the 1st October; it remained in enemy hands until the 17th October 1918.

The 42nd Casualty Clearing Station was posted in the town from the 28th October 1918, to the 25th November 1919.

Douai Communal Cemetery was used during the occupation years of 1914-18 by the Germans for prisoners of war and British, French, Russian, Romanian and Italian soldiers, as well as German soldiers were buried in it.

Douai Communal Cemetery

There are more graves further down

During the 1939-45 War Douai was in British hands until the German break through in May 1940.

The 1st Corps Headquarters were at Cuincy, on the western edge of the town, from October 1939 onwards and Douai was one of the towns from which the Allied advance into Belgium was launched early in May 1940, only to be followed by the collapse of the French and Belgian units and the consequent withdrawal of the British element towards Dunkirk.

There are now over 200, 1914-18 and nearly 50, 1939-45 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, nearly 20 from the 1914-18 War are unidentified.


Captain Charles Arblaster

Captain Charles Arblaster
53rd Bn Australian Infantry
Died on 24th July 1916 aged 21
Son of Charles and Elizabeth Arblaster
of 7, Errol St., Footscray, Victoria, Australia
Born at Pennyroyal, Victoria

Grave: D 6

Captain Arblaster took command of the remaining soldiers of his battalion holding the captured trenches at Fromelles. The majority of them were either killed or captured as they tried to break through the encircling Bavarians in a desperate attempt to regain the Australian lines.

Private Charles Tate

Private Charles Tate 4606
54th Bn Australian Infantry
Died on 24th July 1916 aged 17
Son of Charles and Emily Tate
of 123, West Botany St, Arncliffe, New South Wales

Grave: B 27

Private Albert Watson

Private Albert Watson 30823
6th Bn King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Died on 5th April 1917 aged 27
Son of the late John and Sarah Watson
of Hanging Heaton, Batley
Husband of Edith Annie Watson
of 4, Warwick Cottages, Batley Carr, Batley, Yorks

Grave: A 21

Lance Corporal Herbert Blackman

Lance Corporal Herbet Blackman 7881847
Royal Armoured Corps
4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards
Died on 8th January 1940
Son of Sydney and Jessie Blackman
of Birling, Kent.

Grave: L 1

Private J Knight

Private James Knight 2038
31st Bn Australian Infantry
Died on 27th July 1916 aged 32

Grave: C 28

Lt Colonel Harold Walter

Lt Colonel Harold Walter
8th Bn Lincolnshire Regiment
Died on 29th September 1915

Grave: D 2

Ivan Starikow, Imperial Russian Army

Ivan Starikov
Imperial Russian Army
Died on 26th February 1917

Grave: 227

Gheorge Thoderas, Romanian Army

Gheorge Thoderas
Romanian Army
Died on 7th March 1917

Grave: 235


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

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