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Webmatters : Pont du Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue

Pont du Hem Military Cemetery


Pont du Hem is a hamlet situated on the main road from La Bassée to Estaires. Follow the D 947 from La Bassée to Estaires for 10 kilometres and the cemetery lies on the left hand side of the road 5 kilometres short of Estaires.

Pont du Hem Military Cemetery


Historical Information

Pont-du-Hem was in German hands from mid-April to mid-September 1918. The Cemetery was begun, in an apple-orchard, in July 1915, and used until April 1918, by fighting units and Field Ambulances; these original burials are in Plots I, II and III, and Rows A and B of Plot IV.

In April and May 1918, German burials were made in Plots III and IV. After the Armistice, 426 German graves were removed to other cemeteries; Portuguese graves of 1917-1918 were removed to the Portuguese cemetery of Richebourg-L’Avoué; and British graves were brought in from smaller burial grounds and from the surrounding battlefields.

German graves with their triangular tops

German graves with their triangular tops

The following are brief particulars of the burial grounds from which British graves were moved to Pont-du-Hem:

Beaucamps Communal Cemetery German Extension, a permanent cemetery of 1,800 graves: 104 UK, AIF and NZEF, 1914-18.

Bousbecque Communal Cemetery German Extension (permanent, 2,300 G.): 21 UK, 2 AIF, 1917-18.

Comines Communal Cemetery German Extension (permanent, 2,400 G.): 21 UK, 1 Canadian, 1 AIF, 1 NZEF, 1915-17.

Devasier Farm German Cemetery, Wambrechies, on road to Quesnoy-sur-Deule (permanent, 1,500 G): 19 UK, 1916-18.

Edward Road Cemetery No. 3 (Windy Corner), Richebourg-l’Avoué: 12 UK, 1914-15.

Pont du Hem Military Cemetery

Over half of the soldiers here are unidentified

Ennequin Communal Cemetery German Extension, Loos (near Lille): 977 G, 8 UK, 2 AIF, 1917-18.

Estaires Convent Cemeteries No. 1 and No. 2, made by Germans, on North side of town: 4 UK, 1918.

Ferme Deloux-Boquet, Nouveaumonde, La Gorgue: 17 UK, 1 AIF, 1915-16.

Festubert North Cemetery, on North-West side of village: 20 UK and 5 Canadian, 1915-16.

Halluin Communal Cemetery German Extension (permanent, 2,216 G.): 36 UK, 3 Canadian, 1 NZEF, 1917-18.

Indian Village Graveyards No. 1 and No. 2, Richebourg-l’Avoué and Festubert, North of Rue de Cailloux: 39 UK and 1 Canadian, May-September 1915.

A row of soldiers from the Royal Welch Fusiliers

A row of soldiers from the Royal Welch Fusiliers

La Cordonnerie Farm Cemetery, North of Fromelles: 58 of 2nd RWF, October-November 1914.

Lacouture Churchyard: 1 RFA, October, 1914.

La Fosse German Cemetery, in a château garden South of Lestrem: 6 UK, 1918.

Laventie North German Cemetery, near railway station.

Le Trou-Bayard German Cemetery, Estaires: 36 UK (mainly 50th Div.) and 2 AFC, April-November 1914.

Locon Churchyard: 1 UK, November 1914.

Rue Masselot German Cemetery (made round the British Cemetery, and called by the Germans WANGERIE): 8 UK and 1 Italian, 1918.

Verlinghem German Cemetery, on South-West outskirts of village (permanent, 1,152 G.): 14 UK and 1 AIF, 1916-17.

Vieille-Chapelle Churchyard: 14 UK, 1914-15.

Pont du Hem Military Cemetery

There are now over 1,500, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over half are unidentified and special memorials are erected to nine soldiers from the United Kingdom believed to be buried among them.

Other special memorials record the names of 44 soldiers from the United Kingdom, two from Canada, two from Australia and one of the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry, buried in this or other cemeteries, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire, and of five Indian soldiers whose bodies were cremated.

There are 107 German burials and 1 American. The cemetery covers an area of 6,433 square metres.

Pont du Hem Military Cemetery


Private Joseph Varley

Private Joseph Varley 241791
1/5th Bn King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Died on 4th June 1917 aged 21
Son of Sophia Varley,
of 17, Jesmond St., Dewsbury Rd., Leeds
and the late Walter Varley

Grave: IV A 3

Rifleman T Lanchbery

Rifleman Thomas Lanchbery 5878
16th Bn London Regiment
Queen’s Westminsters
Died on 17th December 1916 aged 25
Brother of Mr C Lanchbery,
of 64, Elmsleigh Rd., East Hill, Wandsworth, London

Grave: II D 1


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