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Webmatters : ANZAC Cemetery, Sailly-sur-la-Lys

ANZAC Cemetery, Sailly-sur-la-Lys


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 right hand side of the road opposite the Canadian Cemetery.

Decimal 50.652748 2.763053 Map

ANZAC Cemetery, Sailly-sur-La-Lys


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 9 April 1918, and it remained in their hands until the beginning of September.

Anzac Cemetery was begun by Australian units in July 1916, immediately before the Attack at Fromelles, and it contains the graves of many Australian soldiers who died in that engagement. It continued in use as a front-line cemetery until April 1918 and was used by German troops for the burial of Commonwealth soldiers during the following summer.

Anzac Cemetery contains 320 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. 62 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to seven casualtes known or believed to be buried among them, and to three soldiers buried by the Germans in Sailly Churchyard whose graves could not be located. It also contains five Second World War burials and six German graves.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

Sailly-sur-La-Lys Canadian Cemetery

The cross seen from the Canadian Cemetery opposite


Private James Young

Private James Young 2812
55th Bn AIF
Died on 1st October 1916 aged 16
Son of James and Alice Young
of Unwin’s Bridge Rd, Marrickville
New South Wales
Native of Glasgow, Scotland.

Grave: I G 4

Soldier rest. Thy warfare o’er
Sleep the sleep
That knows no waking

Sapper Patrick Hickey

Sapper Patrick Hickey 4/1793
No 1 Field Company, NZ Engineers
Died on 23rs November 1916 aged 52
Son of Denis and Ellen Hickey
of Coolnageragh, Castleisland, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Grave: II H 3

Lt General Robert Broadwood CB

Lt General Robert Broadwood CB
XII (Prince of Wales’s) Royal Lancers
Commanding : 57th Division
Died on 21st June 1917 aged 55

Grave: II I 6

Lt Colonel A Ebsworth MC

Lt Colonel A Ebsworth MC
South Lancashire Regiment
Attached: 9th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers
Northumberland Hussars
Died on 21st September 1918

Grave: III H 1

Private John Davies

Private John Davies 10000
9th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers
Northumberland Hussars
Died on 25th September 1918 aged 35
Son of William Davies
of Glandulyn, Abersoch, Carnarvonshire
Husband of Mary Davies
of 38 High Bondgate, Bishop Auckland

Grave: III J 2

Death doth hide
But not divide
Thou art but on
Christ’s other side

Twenty Two Soldiers

Twenty Two Soldiers
Of the Great War

It is unusual in a CWGC Cemetery to see such a large group of unidentified soldiers placed together under the one headstone.

It should also be remarked that none are treated as : Unknown.

As Rudyard Kipling who was responsible for the inscription on such graves pointed out, these men were not unknown but: Known unto God.

It is a cultural difference for some other nations the word Unknown is used. In a French Cimetière Militaire (Inconnu) or German Soldatenfriedhof (Unbekannt).


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

CWGC Poppy Button