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Webmatters : Roclincourt Valley Cemetery
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Roclincourt Valley Cemetery

Location

Roclincourt is a village a little to the east of the road from Arras to Lens. Take the N17 from Arras until the junction of this road and the D60. Travel along the D60 into Roclincourt village. Roclincourt Valley Cemetery lies to the north-east of the village. It is on a farm track signposted off the Thélus road.

GPS N E Wikimapia
Decimal 50.333320 2.804443 Map

 

Historical Information

Roclincourt was just within the Allied lines before the Battle of Arras in 1917 and it was from here that the 51st (Highland) and 34th Divisions advanced on 9th April 1917. The 1st Canadian Division attacked further north, across the Lens road.

Roclincourt Valley Cemetery (originally called Roclincourt Forward Cemetery No.2) was begun after 9th April 1917 by the units which fought on that day. It was used until the following August when it contained the graves of 94 soldiers, of whom 40 belonged to the 51st Division. These form Plot I, Rows A to E and part of Row F.

Roclincourt Valley Cemetery

The cemetery was enlarged after the Armistice when graves, almost all of April 1917 and mostly from the 34th and 51st Divisions, were brought in from the surrounding battlefields and from certain smaller cemeteries, including :

  • King Crater Cemetery, Roclincourt: a mine crater, it contained 99 burials in five big graves, made by the 34th Division in the middle of April 1917, all dating from 9 April. All but two belonged to the Tyneside Brigades of the Northumberland Fusiliers.
  • Kite Crater Cemetery, St Laurent-Blangy, contained 53 burials of 9 April 1917 in five big graves, mainly of the 34th Division.
  • Rabs Road Cemetery, St Laurent-Blangy, contained 20 burials of 9 or 13 April 1917, 16 belonging to the 15th or 16th Royal Scots.
  • Roclincourt Long Cemetery (called at one time Roclincourt Forward Cemetery No.3), contained 68 burials of 9 April 1917, all 51st Division.
  • Thelus Road Cemetery, Roclincourt, was made by the XVII Corps and contained 42 burials of 9 April 1917, 51st Division.

The cemetery now contains 518 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 83 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to four casualties known, or believed, to be buried among them.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Roclincourt Valley Cemetery

 

Three artillery officers

Major Philip Bailey
Aged 31
2nd Lieutenant William Manifold
Aged 27
Major Victor Walrond
Aged 27
15th Battery 36th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
Died on 26th April 1917
Son of Mrs L and the late Dr J Bailey
of 11, Herne Hill Mansions, London
Born at Bognor, Sussex
Son of William and Alice Manifold
of Purrumbete. Victoria, Australia
Son of Arthur and Marion Walrond
of Redhayes, Pinhoe, Devon
Grave: I C 3 Grave: I C 2 Grave: I C 1

 


L/Corporal David Mitchell

L/Corporal David Mitchell 351258
9th Bn Royal Scots
Died on 9th April 1917 aged 30
Son of William Mitchell
of Allan St. House, Blairgowrie, Perthshire

Grave: II G 8

 

Shot at dawn


Private Edward Bolton

Private Edward Bolton 10263
1st Bn Cheshire Regiment
Died on 14th April 1916

Grave: II F 7

Shot at Dawn for desertion

Bolton had already received a suspended death sentence when he was granted leave. A regular soldier he failed to return to his unit and it was some months later that he was eventually tracked down working as a civilian under a false identity. He was duly tried and executed for Desertion.


 

Other cemeteries in the area


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CWGC Poppy Button