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Webmatters : Gordon Dump Cemetery, La Boisselle
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Gordon Dump Cemetery

Location

Gordon Dump Cemetery is 2 kilometres north-east of Albert, on the right hand side of D929 Albert-Bapaume. At the Y junction (102nd Infantry Brigade Memorial) near the Poppy restaurant, turn right onto D20 and follow through Ovillers/La Boisselle. After 2 kilometres the Cemetery is signposted onto a 300 metre grass track.

Gordon Dump Cemetery

 

Historical Information

On the 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the 8th Division attacked Ovillers and the 34th Division La Boisselle. The villages were not captured, but ground was won between them and to the south of La Boisselle.

On 4 July, the 19th (Western) Division cleared La Boisselle and on 7th July the 12th (Eastern) and 25th Divisions gained part of Ovillers, the village being cleared by the 48th (South Midland) Division on 17 July.

Gordon Dump Cemetery

On the hillside looking back towards Albert is the Lochnagar Crater

The two villages were lost during the German advance in March 1918, but they were retaken on the following 24th August by the 38th (Welsh) Division.

Plot I of the Cemetery was made by fighting units after 10th July 1916 and closed in September when it contained the graves of 95 soldiers, mainly Australian.

It was called variously Gordon (or Gordon’s) Dump Cemetery or Sausage Valley Cemetery, from the name given to the broad, shallow valley that runs down from it to Becourt. The remainder of the cemetery was formed after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the 1916 battlefields immediately surrounding the cemetery.

Gordon Dump Cemetery

There are now 1,676 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 1,053 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 34 casualties known or believed to be buried among them.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

 


Donald Bell VC

2nd Lieutenant Donald Bell VC
9th Bn Yorkshire Regiment
Died on 10th July 1916 aged 25
Son of Smith and Annie Bell,
of Queen’s Rd, Harrogate
Husband of Rhoda Bell,
of Wilmslow, Cheshire

Grave: IV A 8

The London Gazette
No. 29740; 8th September 1916

For most conspicuous bravery. During an attack a very heavy enfilade fire was opened on the attacking company by a hostile machine gun. 2nd Lieutenant Bell immediately, and on his own initiative, crept up a communication trench and then, followed by Corporal Colwill and Private Batey, rushed across the open under very heavy fire and attacked the machine gun, shooting the firer with his revolver, and destroying gun and personnel with bombs.

This very brave act saved many lives and ensured the success of the attack.

Five days later this very gallant officer lost his life performing a very similar act of bravery.

Donald Bell is reputed to have been the first professional footballer to volunteer and was the profession’s only Victoria Cross Winner during the war. There is a memorial to him in Contalmaison.


Private D Kean

Private D Kean 14675
9th Bn King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Died on 1st July 1916

Special Memorial: C 3


Lieutenant A Head

Lieutenant A Head
20th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers
Tyneside Scottish
Died on 1st July 1916 aged 22
Son of Mr and Mrs W Head,
of 26, Park Parade, Whitley Bay,
Northumberland.
Native of London

Special Memorial: A 1

 

Other cemeteries in the area


Recent Additions

Canadian Cemetery No.2

Givenchy Road Canadian Cemetery

Petit Vimy British Cemetery

CWGC Poppy Button