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Webmatters : Owl Trench Cemetery, Hébuterne
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Owl Trench Cemetery


Hébuterne is a village which lies about 20 kilometres south-west of Arras. Rossignol Wood Cemetery lies approximately two kilometres to the east of the village, on the road between Foncquevillers and Puisieux (D6).

Rossignol Wood Cemetery is a few hundred metres away on the same side of the road.

Decimal 50.128635 2.669463 Map

Owl Trench Cemetery


Historical Information

The village of Hébuterne was in Allied hands from 1915 until the German advance of March 1918 when part of it had to be given up. The eastern part of the commune remained in German hands until February 1917, and was theirs again in the summer of 1918.

Owl Trench was a German cross-trench before Rossignol Wood, raided by the 4th New Zealand Rifle Brigade on 15th July 1918, and cleared by the 1st Auckland Regiment five days later.

It was in the area of Rossignol Wood that Serjeant Dick Travis VC, one of the great heroes of the New Zealand Division was killed on 25th July 1918. He is buried in Couin New British Cemetery, about fifteen minutes away from here.

The cemetery, however, contains the graves of men who died on 27th February 1917, in an attack on German rearguards by the 31st Division.

The cemetery contains 53 First World War burials. Row A is a mass grave for 46 soldiers, 43 of whom belonged to the 16th West Yorkshires. Ten of the burials in the cemetery are unidentified. The cemetery was designed by N A Rew.

Owl Trench Cemetery


The Official History states:

The 31st Division also gained ground, but the 93rd Brigade, on its left was sharply checked at Rossignol Wood. An attack on the wood by the 16th West Yorkshire was for the most part held up, and such elements as reached the wood were caught by enfilading machine gun fire and practically destroyed.

The German trenches are still visible within the section of the wood opposite Rosignol Wood Cemetery.


16th Bn West Yorkshire Regiment

16th Bn West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own)
Who all died on Tuesday 27th February 1917

Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Soldiers from the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

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