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Webmatters : St. Valery-Sur-Somme Communal Cemetery

St. Valery-Sur-Somme Communal Cemetery


The town of St Valery-sur-Somme is on the south side of the Somme estuary, about 19 kilometres north-west of Abbeville. The Communal Cemetery is in the western part of the town, along the D3 for a kilometre from the town centre.

Parking in the town is paying — all day and every day, in and out of season.

GPS N E Wikimapia
Decimal 50.186307 1.630236 Map

St. Valery-Sur-Somme Communal Cemetery


Historical Information

St Valery's War Memorial
The War Memorial with a sailor, as befits a port

St. Valery-sur-Somme Communal Cemetery contains seven Commonwealth burials of the First World War, made from the 2nd and 5th Stationary Hospitals. There are also ten Second World War burials, two of which are unidentified.

You may note that the name of the town does not carry an accent over the ‘e’ in Valery. This is because the name doesn’t come from ValĂ©ry but from the name of a monk who became a hermit in this area in 611. His name was Gualaric which over time became Walaric and then Valery.

Raids by Vikings and Normans (In effect the same thing) burnt the town down numerous times. To them we can also add Richard the Lionheart in 1197.

In 1475, it would be the turn of the French King, Louis XI to burn the place rather than allow his Burgundian rival Charles the Bold to take it.

Next to the cemetery is the hospice and opposite (at the end of the car park) one of the stone gates leading to the old town.

Just through the lower gate is St Martin’s church. The original 12th century church was destroyed by Louis XI’s burning frenzy and the current St Martin’s dates from 1500. It is built in the local style of flint/limestone fashion as are many of the other walls that align the streets.

It is a fisherman’s church and within there are a number of models of boats to remind you of St Valery’s former importance as a fishing port. The stained glass windows are splendid and to remind us that there is a link with William there is a copy of a section of the Bayeux Tapestry.

Seaman's chapel at St Valery
St Valery’s chapel

From up on the hill you can get, on a clear day, a superb view right the way across the bay of the Somme to Le Crotoy on the far side.

The old town is steeped in history and the upper gate, known as the William Towers, was already in place when William of Normandy set sail from the port in 1066 in order to prove that just because your mother was a dairy maid doesn’t mean that you can’t be king of England.

Interestingly, the story goes that when Harold was an emissary of the English court he was captured by Duke Guy de Ponthieu in 1053 and held in what is now known as the Harold Tower.

Joan of Arc was also held captive here by the Burgundians in 1431 before being handed over to the English.

From the William Towers follow the road and then a footpath out to the Seaman’s Chapel which has one of the best locations in the town. It is built in alternating flint and limestone blocks in a chequerboard pattern. It would appear that people have been inscribing their names into the chalk blocks for over a hundred years.

At the marina in the lower town is a monument to William’s fleet. Nearby is the Steam Train Station for the summer service to Le Crotoy.


Private M Baggott

Private M Baggott 66858
The King’s (Liverpool Regiment)
Died on 5th July 1917 aged 35
Son of Mark and Ellen Baggott
of Liverpool
Husband of Elizabeth Baggott
of 25, Norris Green Rd, West Derby, Liverpool

Private George Roberts

Private George Roberts 3/3701
7th Bn York and Lancaster Regiment
Died on 10th July 1917

Driver William Salisbury

Driver William Salisbury T4/059934
18th Reserve Park Army Service Corps
Died on 12th August 1916

Serjeant Archibald Billing

Serjeant Archibald Billing S/25198
7th Supply Coy Army Service Corps
Died on 23rd August 1917

Private George Howell

Private George Howell SS/22366
30th Labour Company Army Service Corps
Died on 18th May 1916 aged 39
Husband of Martha Jane Howell
of 77, Milward Rd, Hastings


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

CWGC Poppy Button