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Webmatters : Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery, Villers-Plouich
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Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery


Villers-Plouich is a village about thirteen kilometres south-west of Cambrai and Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery lies to the east of the village on the south side of the road to the small village of La Vacquerie.

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Decimal 50.072748 3.139166 Map

Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery


Historical Information

Fifteen Ravine was the name given by the Army to the shallow ravine, once bordered by fifteen trees, which ran at right angles to the railway about 800 metres south of the village of Villers-Plouich, but the cemetery is in fact in Farm Ravine, on the east side of the railway line, nearer to the village.

The cemetery, therefore sometimes called Farm Ravine Cemetery, was begun by the 17th Welsh Regiment in April 1917, a few days after the capture of the ravine by the 12th South Wales Borderers. It continued in use during the Battle of Cambrai (November 1917) and until March 1918, when the ravine formed the boundary between the Third and Fifth Armies.

Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery

On 22nd March, the second day of the great German offensive, the ground passed into their hands after severe fighting, and it was not regained until the end of the following September. In March 1918, the cemetery contained 107 graves (now Plot I), but it was greatly enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields south-west of Cambrai.

The burial grounds from which British graves were concentrated to Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery included the following :

  • Argyle Road Cemetery, Beaucamp, close to Argyle Road, on the North side of the hamlet of Beaucamp. The hamlet was taken on the 24th-25th April 1917, by the 40th Division. The cemetery contained the graves of 38 soldiers from the United Kingdom, of whom eleven men of the 14th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders fell at Beaucamp on the 24th April, 1917, and twelve of other units in November and December 1917.
  • Bourlon German Cemetery, a narrow strip of land between Bourlon Communal Cemetery and the Bourlon-Marquion road, in which were buried 173 soldiers from the United Kingdom (almost all unidentified) and about 100 German soldiers.
  • Marcoing Sunken Road Cemetery, on the Eastern slope of the Ravine running north-east from Villers-Plouich. It contained the graves of 75 officers and men from the United Kingdom (mainly of the Royal Naval Division) who fell in December 1917-April 1918, and four from New Zealand who fell at the end of September 1918.

Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery

Many of those buried here are unknown

Fifteen Ravine Cemetery now contains 1,264 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 740 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 44 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials commemorate ten men of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, buried in Argyle Road Cemetery, Beaucamp, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.


2nd Lieutenant R Turner

2nd Lieutenant R Turner
6th Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
Died on 20th November 1917 aged 25
Son of Mr A and Mrs E Turner
of Commercial Rd, Uffculme, Cullompton, Devon

Grave: II C 20

Corporal Percy Windle

Corporal Percy Windle 18733
1st Bn 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Died on 12th September 1918 aged 25
Son of John and Sarah Windle
of 362, Stout St, Gisborne, New Zealand.
Previously wounded at the Battle of Passchendaele

Grave: II C 16

Private Walter Alliston

Private Walter Alliston 25462
6th Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
Died on 1st December 1917 aged 26
Son of Arthur Alliston

Grave: IV C 17


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

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