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Webmatters : Blighty Valley Cemetery, Authuille Wood

Blighty Valley Cemetery


Authuille and Aveluy are villages 4 kilometres north-east of the town of Albert. The Cemetery is situated in a valley half way between these two villages on the D151 (Cemetery is signposted on exit of Aveluy direction Authuille). The Cemetery is on the eastern side of the road D151 and access is 500 metres by grass pathway (unfit for cars).

GPS : Note that the village of Authuille is spelled with a double ll. British war time references only use the one.

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Blighty Valley Cemetery


Historical Information

Blighty Valley was the name given by the Army to the lower part of the deep valley running down South-Westward through Authuile Wood to join the river between Authuile and Aveluy; a railway was carried along it soon after July 1916, and it was for some time an important (though inevitably a dangerous) route. The upper part of the valley was called Nab Valley. Blighty Valley Cemetery is almost at the mouth of the valley, a little way up its northern bank. It is partly in either commune.

Blighty Valley Cemetery was begun early in July 1916, at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme, and used until the following November. At the Armistice it contained 212 graves but was then greatly enlarged when 784 graves were brought in from the battlefields and small cemeteries to the east. Most of these concentrated graves were of men who died on 1st July 1916.

Blighty Valley Cemetery

The cemetery now contains 1,027 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 536 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 24 casualties known or believed to be buried among them, and to five others buried by the Germans in Becourt German Cemetery in the spring of 1918, whose graves could not be found on concentration.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

Blighty Valley Cemetery


2nd Lieutenant Leslie Ekin

2nd Lieutenant Leslie Ekin MC
8th Bn York and Lancaster Regiment
Died on 1st July 1916 aged 22
Son of James and Josephine Ekin
of De Walden Court, Meads, Eastbourne
Native of Australia
His brother James also fell on the same day.

Grave: V C 13

2nd Lieutenant James Ekin is buried in Lonsdale Cemetery not far from here.
Grave: VI O 1

Private A Payling

Private A Payling 14948
8th Bn York and Lancaster Regiment
Died on 1st July 1916

Grave: V D 23

His brother Charles of the 9th Battalion was also killed that day and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier 14A).

Serjeant James Wells

Serjeant James Wells G/385
6th Bn The Queen’s
Royal West Surrey Regiment
Died on 3rd July 1916 aged 26
Husband of Emily Wells
of The Mount Lane, Newquay, Cornwall
Native of Sidcup, Kent

Special Memorial 25

‘Twere dishonour to yield
Or the battle to shun

From the hymn : We are soldiers of Christ


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

CWGC Poppy Button