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Webmatters : Chocques Military Cemetery

Chocques Military Cemetery


Chocques is 4 kilometres north-west of Béthune on the road to Lillers. When you reach the traffic lights on this road at Chocques, follow the signs for the centre of town and go through the main street, then turn left towards Gonnheim. Take the next turning on the right and the cemetery lies approximately 400 metres down the road on the left.

These are narrow streets so be careful.

Chocques Military Cemetery


Historical Information

Chocques was occupied by Commonwealth forces from the late autumn of 1914 to the end of the war. The village was at one time the headquarters of I Corps and from January 1915 to April 1918, No.1 Casualty Clearing Station was posted there. Most of the burials from this period are of casualties who died at the clearing station from wounds received at the Béthune front.

From April to September 1918, during the German advance on this front, the burials were carried out by field ambulances, divisions and fighting units.

Royal Artillery Graves

Royal Artillery

2nd Seaforth Highlanders

Seaforth Highlanders

The groups of graves of a single Royal Artillery brigade in Plot II, Row A, and of the 2nd Seaforths in II D, and III A, are significant of the casualties of the 4th Division at that time.

Row 6A : King's Liverpool Regiment

Row 6A : King’s Liverpool Regiment

The big collective grave in VI A contains the remains of 29 soldiers of the 4th King’s Liverpool Regiment killed in a troop train in April 1918.

Row 1A : 3rd Squadron, RFC

Row 1A : 3rd Squadron, RFC

The stone memorial in IA is placed behind the graves of eight men of the 3rd Squadron, RFC, killed in a bomb explosion on the aerodrome at Merville in March 1915.

After the Armistice it was found necessary to concentrate into this Cemetery (Plots II, III, IV and VI) a large number of isolated graves plus some small graveyards from the country between Chocques and Béthune. Among the small cemeteries thus removed were:-

Annezin Communal Cemetery Extension, a short distance West of Béthune, made by the 3rd Division in April 1918, which contained 38 graves.

Les Harisoirs British Cemetery, Mont-Bernenchon, 4.8 km North East of Chocques, made by the 4th Division in April 1918, which contained 27 graves.

Canal Cemetery, Les Harisoirs, made by the 4th Division in April 1918, which contained 17 graves.

Bois-Des-Montagnes British Cemetery, Vaudricourt, 3.2 km South West of Béthune, made by the 46th Field Ambulance in September 1915, which contained 8 graves.

Chocques Military Cemetery

Chocques Military Cemetery now contains 1,801 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 134 of then unidentified. There are also 82 German war graves, 47 being unidentified.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.


2nd Lieutenant Alexander Turner VC

2nd Lieutenant Alexander Turner VC
1st Bn Royal Berkshire Regiment
Died on 1st October 1915 aged 22
Son of Major and Mrs Charles Turner
of Thatcham House, Newbury, Berks.

Grave: I B 2

The London Gazette 16th November 1915
No 29371

For most conspicuous bravery on 28th September 1915, at Fosse 8 near Vermelles. When the regimental bombers could make no headway in Slag Alley, Second Lieutenant Turner volunteered to lead a new bombing attack. He pressed down the communication trench practically alone, throwing bombs incessantly with such dash and determination that he drove back the Germans about 150 yards without a check.

His action enabled the reserves to advance with very little loss, and subsequently covered the flank of his regiment in its retirement, thus probably averting a loss of some hundreds of men. This most gallant Officer has since died of wounds received in this action.


Lance Corporal William Partridge

In memory of Lance Corporal William Partridge
RAMC 18074
Killed in action at Béthune
25th January 1915
Erected by the Officers, NCOs and Men of
No 1 Clearing Station
Son of Elizabeth Partridge
Husband of M Banning
of 52, Barnard St, Salisbury, Wilts
Native of Derbyshire
Aged 36

Grave: I A 1

Major Wilfred Nicol

Major Wilfred Nicol DSO
1st Bn Grenadier Guards
Died on 1st October 1915 aged 32
Son of Donald and Anne Nicol
of 14 Cavendish Square, London

Grave: I F 3

Driver William Challis

Driver William Challis T/29981
15th Supply Depot Army Service Corps
Died on 12th March 1915 aged 22
Son of Frances and the late George Challis
of 28 Fountain Rd, Mitcham, Surrey

Grave: I A 42

Lt Colonel John Stansfeld DSO

Lt Colonel John Stansfeld DSO
2nd Bn Gordon Highlanders
Died on 28th September 1915 aged 35
Son of Marie and the late Evelyn Stansfeld
Husband of Constance Yolande de Bourbel de Montpincon

Grave: I B 3

Death opens unknown doors
It is most grand to die

Driver Leonard Holt

Driver Leonard Holt 705756
“X” 42nd Div. Ammunition Column
Royal Artillery
Died on 3rd February 1918 aged 24
Son of Mr and Mrs M. Holt
of 62 Gloucester Rd, Urmston, Manchester
Native of St Helens, Lancs

Grave: I O 16

Private James Sneddon

Private James Sneddon 18547
13th Bn Royal Scots
Died on 8th February 1916

Grave: I H 93

Murdered by Private Arthur Dale who was executed on 3rd March 1916. Dale is buried at Mazingarbe Communal Cemetery, Grave : 103


Shot at Dawn

There are two soldiers within the cemetery who were shot at dawn.

Private Robert Simmes

Private Robert Simmes 20808
2nd Bn Royal Scots
Died on 19th May 1918 aged 25

Grave: III A 19

Shot for Desertion

Private Albert Holmes

Private Albert Holmes 18143
8th Bn King’s Own
Royal Lancaster Regiment
Died on 22nd April 1918 aged 22
Husband of Bessie Holmes
of 51 Croydon St, Easton Road, Bristol

Grave: III C 10

Shot for Desertion

Holmes had enlisted in 1914 and not only seen through over three years of the war but had been wounded in the course of his service.

Having previously deserted and been given a suspended death sentence, a further offence proved fatal.


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

CWGC Poppy Button