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Webmatters : Sailly-sur-la-Lys Canadian Cemetery

Sailly-sur-la-Lys Canadian Cemetery


The village of Sailly-sur-la-Lys lies approximately 7 kilometres west of Armentières. From Armentières follow the road to Estaires, traversing the small town of Ergingham-Lys and then joining the D945 to Estaires. Follow the D945 for approximately 5 kilometres until reaching the village of Sailly-sur-la-Lys. Continue through the village on the same road and the Cemetery lies 2 kilometres on the other side of the village, directly on the left hand side of the road opposite the Anzac Cemetery.

Decimal 50.652715 2.763338 Map

Sailly-sur-La-Lys Canadian Cemetery


Historical Information

Sailly Church was burnt during the open fighting of October 1914, when French cavalry and British and German infantry fought on the Lys, but from the winter of 1914-1915 to the spring of 1918 the village was comparatively untouched.

It was captured by the Germans on 9th April 1918, and it remained in their hands until the beginning of September.

The cemetery was begun by Canadian units in March 1915, and used as a front-line cemetery until July 1916; it contains 313 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and one German grave.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

Sailly-sur-La-Lys Canadian Cemetery

The cross is in the ANZAC Cemetery


Private Harry Bird

Private Harry Bird 5242
1st Bn Worcestershire Regiment
Died on 21st August 1915 aged 38
Son-in-law of Mary Maguire
of College Hill, Templemore, Co Tipperary.
Native of Birmingham.
Served in the South African Campaign

Grave: III A 8

In loving memory
Of our dear father
Who died for his country

Private Tim Chatfield

Private Tim Chatfield 1825
1/7th Bn Middlesex Regiment
Died on 12th May 1915 aged 19
Son of Walter and Flora Chatfield
of 1 King’s Road, Edmonton, London.
Served in Gibraltar

Grave: II G 152

Our Tim was
Too dearly loved by all
Ever to be forgotten


Shot at dawn

Rifleman William Smith

Rifleman William Smith S/9405
2nd Bn Rifle Brigade
Died on 3rd October 1915 aged 37

Grave: I E 86

Shot at Dawn for desertion

Both of these men had joined the Rifle Brigade in 1915 and had seen previous service in the army. Smith had served during the Boer War.

On the 22nd August 1915 whilst the two men were at rest they got drunk and headed off together. Having reached the coast at Dunkerque they gave themselves up to the British Consulate on the 28th August.

The Army tended to ignore pleas of drunkenness as it was difficult to know whether the original act had been committed whilst under the influence. Despite the fact that Lee (whose real name was, Irish) was under a previous sentence for absence, both men though found guilty were accorded a recommendation for mercy. It was ignored and the pair were shot on the 3rd October 1915.

Rifleman George Lee

Arthur Irish. Served as :
Rifleman George Lee S/9560
2nd Bn Rifle Brigade
Died on 3rd October 1915 aged 30
Son of Margaret and the late Henry Irish
of 4, Salt Lane, Salisbury

Grave: I E 87

Shot at Dawn for desertion

See above for his story.


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

CWGC Poppy Button