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Webmatters : Communal Cemetery Extension No 1, Doullens

Doullens Communal Cemetery Ext No 1

Location

Doullens is a town in the Department of the Somme, approximately 30 kilometres north of Amiens on the N25 road to Arras. The Communal Cemetery and Extensions lie on the eastern side of the town, about 270 metres south-east of the road to Arras.

Coming from Amiens/Albert stay on the ring road heading towards Arras. The road up to your right is marked by CWGC Panels but is quite narrow. About 50 metres further along you turn left to drive up alongside the wall of the cemetery to a parking bay. This is situated with Extension No 2 in front of you and the communal cemetery behind.

If you miss the turn continue to the big roundabout and come back on yourself. All other major roads arrive at this roundabout so take the Amiens direction and turn left at the next junction.

Doullens Communal Cemetery

The French Military plot with that of the CWGC behind

 

Historical Information

Doullens was Marshal Foch’s headquarters early in the First World War and the scene of the conference in March 1918, after which he assumed command of the Allied armies on the Western Front.

From the summer of 1915 to March 1916, Doullens was a junction between the French Tenth Army on the Arras front and the Commonwealth Third Army on the Somme. The citadelle, overlooking the town from the south, was a French military hospital, and the railhead was used by both armies.

In March 1916, Commonwealth forces succeeded the French on the Arras front and the 19th Casualty Clearing Station came to Doullens, followed by the 41st, the 35th and the 11th. By the end of 1916, these had given way to the 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital (which stayed until June 1918) and the 2/1st Northumbrian Casualty Clearing Station. From February 1916 to April 1918, these medical units continued to bury in the French extension (No 1) of the communal cemetery.

Doullens Communal Cemetery

In March and April 1918 the German advance and the desperate fighting on this front threw a severe strain on the Canadian Stationary Hospital. The extension was filled, and a second extension begun on the opposite side of the communal cemetery.

In May 1940, Doullens was bombed with Arras and Abbeville before being occupied by the Germans.

The Communal Cemetery Extension No 1 contains 1 335 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. There are also seven French and 13 German war graves from this period. Second World War burials number 35, more than half of them men of the Queen’s Royal West Kents who died 20/21 May 1940.

The Communal Cemetery Extension No 2 contains 374 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, and 87 German war graves.

The Communal Cemetery itself contains ten Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.

The extensions were designed by Charles Holden.

Doullens Communal Cemetery

Muslim graves from the French and British Empires

 

Private Walter Smith Private Walter Smith

Private Walter Smith

Private Walter Smith 14203
7th Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
Died on 31st March 1918 aged 23
Son of William and Esther Smith
of Church Banks, Avenbury

He joined the army in September 1917
Before doing so he was in the employ of Mr T Foulkes,
Veterinary Surgeon of Bromyard
Walter died of wounds in hospital

Grave: VI G 45

 


Brigadier General Harry Fulton

Brigadier General Harry Fulton CMG DSO
3rd NZ Rifle Brigade
Died on 29th March 1918 aged 49
Croix de Guerre (France)
Son of Lt Gen John Fulton, RA, and Ellen Fulton, of India
Served on Indian Frontier, 1897;
in South Africa, 1900;
Samoa, 1914, and Egypt, 1915

Grave: VI A 4

Usually, New Zealand graves do not carry an epitaph as their government forbade it on the grounds of equality. You will note however that Harry Fulton does have one. Whether he got around the regulations because he was not a New Zealander or because he was a general I do not know.


Private Hugh Cockerton

Private Hugh Cockerton 2991
1st Bn Cambridgeshire
Died on 2nd October 1916 aged 17
Son of the late John and Florence Cockerton

Grave: IV F 15

There are three other 17 year old soldiers in this cemetery:

  • Private William Cambell 1096
    16th Bn Royal Irish Rifles
    Died on 16 July 1916
    Grave: III D 4
  • Private William Charmer 19198
    1st Bn East Lancashire Regiment
    Died on 7th April 1916
    Grave: I E 9
  • Private John Stoneystreet 3946
    7th Bn Sherwood Foresters
    (Notts and Derby Regiment)
    Died on 15 May 1916
    Grave: II C 9

 

Other cemeteries in the area


Recent Additions

Canadian Cemetery No.2

Givenchy Road Canadian Cemetery

Petit Vimy British Cemetery

CWGC Poppy Button