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Webmatters : Communal Cemetery Extension No 2, Doullens

Doullens Communal Cemetery Ext No 2

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 Ext No 2

 

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 Ext No 2

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.

 

Robinson and Thornton

2nd Lieutenant C Robinson
59th Squadron Royal Air Force
Died on 28th April 1918 aged 22
Born at Ashdown Park, Forest Row, Sussex.
Son of William and Charlotte Robinson
of 5, Elmsworth Avenue, Heston, Middx
2nd Lieutenant Percy Thornton
59th Squadron Royal Air Force
Died on 28th April 1918 aged 24
Son of Fred and Rosa Thornton,
of 8, Park Terrace, Stanningley, Leeds
They shall mount
With wings as eagles
Beneath are
The eternal arms
Also served in Egypt and France with
15th Bn West Yorkshire Regiment
Grave: I A 32 Grave: I A 31

Mond and Martyn

Two missing airmen

Captain Francis Mond
57th Squadron RAF
Ex Royal Field Artillery
Died on 15th May 1918 aged 22
Son of Emile and Mrs Mond
of Greyfriars, Storrington, Sussex
and 22, Hyde Park Square, London
Lieutenant Edgar Martyn
57th Squadron RAF
Ex 19th Bn Canadian Infantry
Died on 15th May 1918 aged 25
Son of William A and Margaret Martyn
Husband of Margaret Martyn
of North Bay, Ontario
Grave: I B 29 Grave: I B 28

On the 15th May 1918 Francis Mond and his observer Edgar Martyn were attacking German ammunition dumps in the area of Bapaume in their DH4 bomber. On their way back to their base they were attacked by Johann Janzen (Jasta 6) near Le Hamel and shot down.

Observing from the ground Lieutenant Albert Hill MC of the 31st Bn Australian Infantry, went out into no man’s land, recovered the bodies of the two airmen and, having identified them, had them transported back to his Battalion HQ on the Somme river.

Although the removal of the two bodies was documented what happened to them next is a mystery. For five years they were missing.

Lieutenant Hill had forwarded the two soldiers personal belongings to Angela Mond (Francis’s mother) and she spent the intervening years talking to people and visiting the cemeteries trying to find her son’s grave. She was meticulous in her research and by March 1923 had convinced the IWGC that two of the graves in Doullens had been mis-identified.

In the presence of Mr Aspinall and Mrs Mond the body of Captain John Aspinall RAF was exhumed and found to be that of Francis Mond. Having proved that half of her theory was correct a second exhumation was carried out on the adjacent grave and this turned out to be Edgar Martyn.

Captain Aspinall is now remembered on the Arras Flying Services’ Memorial.

In memory of her son and his observer Angela Mond bought the area where their aircraft had crashed and a monument in the form of a broken column was erected. Although weathered by time it can still be found at Bouzencourt not far from Le Hamel and the Australian War Memorial.

 


Private G Brean

Private G Brean 265202
2/4th Bn South Lancashire Regiment
Died on 16th May 1918

Dear Bert, beloved son of
GW and E Brean
Of Pensford
Late of Ynysddu, Monmouthshire

Grave: I B 3

 

Other cemeteries in the area


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