Webmatters : Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery, Arras
Rough Map of Area

Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery

Location

Faubourg-d’Amiens Cemetery is in the western part of the town of Arras in the Boulevard du General de Gaulle, near the Citadel, approximately 2 kilometres due west of the railway station.
Follow the signs for the Citadelle.

There is a set of traffic lights at the memorial allowing you to turn into the small parking bay. To leave you need to advance to the foot of traffic light to trigger it. It will take a while so be patient.

For wheelchair access turn in at the traffic lights but continue to the houses where you turn right along the back wall of the cemetery where you will find a gate. To leave continue up this road, turn right and right again and this will bring you back to the main road.

Arras Memorial

 

Historical Information

The French handed Arras over to Commonwealth forces in the spring of 1916 and the system of tunnels upon which the town is built were used and developed in preparation for the major offensive planned for April 1917.

Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery

Looking towards the Arras Memorial to the Missing


An unidentified Russian soldier

An unidentified Russian soldier

The Commonwealth section of the Faubourg-d’Amiens Cemetery was begun in March 1916, behind the French military cemetery established earlier. It continued to be used by field ambulances and fighting units until November 1918.

The cemetery was enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields and from two smaller cemeteries in the vicinity.

The cemetery contains 2 651 Commonwealth burials of the First World War.

In addition, there are 30 war graves of other nationalities, most of them German.

The graves in the French military cemetery were removed after the war to other burial grounds and the land they had occupied was used for the construction of the Arras Memorial and Arras Flying Services Memorial.

During the Second World War, Arras was occupied by United Kingdom forces headquarters until the town was evacuated on 23 May 1940.

Arras then remained in German hands until retaken by Commonwealth and Free French forces on 1 September 1944.

The cemetery contains seven Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.

 

If you look directly towards the cemetery from the flying Services Memorial you can see this unusual grave, at the far end of one of the rows, with both the old and new crosses still in place.

Major Norman Sinclair-Travis Major Norman Sinclair-Travis

Major Norman Sinclair-Travis,
297th Siege Battery,
Royal Garrison Artillery
Died on 26th March 1918, aged 31
Son of Mr and Mrs John Travis, of Freshfield, Liverpool
Husband of Ivy Sinclair-Holloway, of Hill House, Amberley, Glos.

Grave: VI D 1

 

Brothers buried side by side The McIsaac brothers

Gunner Malcolm McIsaac 168448
Royal Garrison Artillery
Died on 11th April 1918 aged 20
Gunner William McIsaac 59189
Royal Garrison Artillery
Died on 11th April 1918 aged 26
Grave: VI E 22 Grave: VI E 21
Sons of Malcolm and Mary McIsaac of Bellsdyke, Bothkennar, Falkirk Born at Shieldhill Falkirk


There is at least one other pair of brothers buried in the cemetery, though not side by side:

  • Private Edgar Bromwich, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
    Died on 4th June 1916
    Grave: I D 14
  • Lance Corporal Leslie Bromwich, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
    Died on 4th June 1916
    Grave: I C 62

There are also two soldiers, Shot at Dawn, who lie side by side in the cemetery:

  • Private John Barnes, Royal Sussex Regiment
    Shot for desertion on 4th July 1916
    Grave: IV J 17
  • Private Robert Pattison, The Queen’s Regiment
    Shot for desertion on 4th July 1916
    Grave: IV J 16

 

The Arras Memorial

Commemorates almost 35 000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, the eve of the Advance to Victory, and have no known grave.

Both cemetery and memorial were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, with sculpture by Sir William Reid Dick.

The most conspicuous events of this period were the Arras offensive of April-May 1917, and the German attack in the spring of 1918. Canadian and Australian servicemen killed in these operations are commemorated by memorials at Vimy and Villers-Bertonneux.

 

The Arras Flying Services Memorial

Arras Flying Services Memorial

Commemorates more than 1,000 airmen of the Royal Naval Air Service, the Royal Flying Corps, and the Royal Air Force, either by attachment from other arms of the forces of the Commonwealth or by original enlistment, who were killed on the whole Western Front and who have no known grave.

 

Le Mur des Fusillés

The firing post

Le Mur des Fusillés

Taking the road to the left of the Memorial and around to the rear of the citadel you come to the Mur des Fusillés which commemorates over 200 partisans from the various Resistance Groups shot by the Germans from 1941 to 1944.

It acts as a sober counterpoint to our own Memorial.


On 8 April 2007 as a mark of respect for those who had died fighting for the town, the Mayor of Arras: Monsieur Jean-Marie Vanlerenberghe, inaugurated a new system of illumination for the memorial.