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Webmatters : Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery

Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery


Hazebrouck is a town lying about 56 kilometres south-east of Calais and is easily reached from Calais or Boulogne. The Communal Cemetery is on the south-western outskirts of the town. From the Grand Place in Hazebrouck follow the D916 B├ęthune road. Traverse the first set of traffic lights and the Communal Cemetery will be found 200 metres further along on the right hand side of the road, as indicated by a signpost. The War Graves Plot lies immediately inside the entrance to the cemetery.

Try to park on the street. The entry into the cemetery is narrow and there are only a few parking spaces available which also makes it difficult to turn around.

GPS N E Wikimapia
Decimal 50.716323 2.532416 Map

Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery


Historical Information

From October 1914 to September 1917, casualty clearing stations were posted at Hazebrouck. The Germans shelled and bombed the town between September 1917 and September 1918 making it unsafe for hospitals, but in September and October 1918, No.9 British Red Cross Hospital was stationed there.

Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery

Local men who died

Commonwealth burials began in the communal cemetery in October 1914 and continued until July 1918. At first, they were made among the civilian graves, but after the Armistice these earlier burials were moved into the main Commonwealth enclosure.

During the Second World War, Hazebrouck was garrisoned and was on the western flank of the area occupied by the British Expeditionary Force until May 1940.

Part of the town war memorial

The town war memorial — which goes back to before Napoleon

The cemetery was used again, mainly for the burial of those killed in late May 1940 during the fighting which covered the retreat of the BEF to the Dunkirk-Nieuport perimeter.

The French Military Plot

The French Military Plot

The cemetery now contains 877 Commonwealth burials of the First World War (17 of them unidentified) and 86 from the Second World War (20 of them unidentified).

The Commonwealth plot, for the construction of which the town of Hazebrouck contributed 20,000 francs, was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery

Part of the Commonwealth Plot


Private Edward Rust

Private Edward Rust 1830
4th Bn Yorkshire Regiment
Died on 30th April 1915 aged 19
Son of the Rev. Edward Rust
of The Vicarage, Hamsteels, Co. Durham
Educated at Scorton Grammar School, Yorks.

Grave: I G 35

He was taken to the field hospital but was so eager to uphold the honour of his regiment and to serve his country that he returned next day to the firing line and remained with his comrades until they were relieved and died on April 30th courageous to the end and beloved by all who knew him.

Private Reginald Walker

Private Reginald Walker 11033
11th Bn The Queen’s
Royal West Surrey Regiment
Died on 23rd December 1916 aged 19

Grave: I B 22

Private Ara Arii

Private Ara Arii 16/1139
3rd New Zealand Pioneer Battalion
Died on 24th August 1916
Son of the late Taiki and Kainga Arii
of Rarotonga, Cook Islands, New Zealand

Grave: I A 14

Gunner Daniel O'Donnell

Gunner Daniel O’Donnell 933632
98 (The Surrey and Sussex Yeomanry)
Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
Died on 23rd May 1940 aged 21
Son of James and Elizabeth O’Donnell
of North Kilbowie, Clydebank, Dunbartonshire

Grave: IV A 23

We only know
You fought and died
And did not say good-bye.
Mother, Dad and Family

Lieutenant T Elliot

Lieutenant T Elliot
1st Northumbrian Brigade
Royal Field Artillery
Died on 16th October 1915

Grave: II G 20

L/Corporal Joseph Hall

L/Corporal Joseph Hall 4/8288
1st Bn West Yorkshire Regiment
Died on 11th November 1915 aged 17
Son of Mrs. Sarah Dorothy Hall
of 3, Joblin’s Yard, Bondgate, Darlington

Grave: II G 24

Corporal James Gray

Corporal James Gray 27295
15th Bn Canadian Infantry
48th Highlanders of Canada
Died on 26th April 1915 aged 22
Son of Mrs. Gray
of 9 Hunter Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Grave: I F 33

Lt Colonel F Rennick

Lt Colonel F Rennick
40th Pathans
Died on 26th April 1915

Grave: I G 32


Shot at dawn

Driver Benjamin de Fehr

Driver Benjamin de Fehr 2063
1st Reserve Park
Canadian Army Service Corps
Died on 25th August 1916 aged 28
Son of Isbrand DeFehr,
of 917 Hastings St. E., Vancouver, BC

Grave: I A 13

Shot at Dawn for murder

On 19th August 1916, having served well behind the lines throughout his sixteen months service de Fehr took his rifle and shot dead his RSM.

At his trial de Fehr said he was drunk at that time he shot Scott, in the back. Witnesses who had overpowered him stated that he was quite sober.

RSM James Scott is buried almost next to de Fehr in
Grave : I A 10


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

CWGC Poppy Button