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Webmatters : Noeux les Mines Communal Cemetery

Noeux les Mines Communal Cemetery


Noeux-les-Mines is a town 6 km south of BĂ©thune on the main road to Arras.

The Communal Cemetery is on the northern side of the town, on the south-east side of the road to Labourse.

Noeux les Mines Communal Cemetery


Historical Information

The Communal Cemetery at Noeux-les-Mines was used by the Commonwealth forces (in succession to the French) from June 1915 to August 1917. The earlier burials were carried out by units and field ambulances but in April 1917, the 7th Casualty Clearing Station began to use the cemetery. It contains 980 Commonwealth burials of the First World War.

Noeux les Mines Communal Cemetery

The Extension was begun in August 1917 and used until December 1918, chiefly by the 6th and 7th Casualty Clearing Stations. It contains 304 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and 12 German war graves.

The Commonwealth plot and extension were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Noeux les Mines Communal Cemetery


Harry Brown VC

226353 Private Harry Brown VC
10th Bn Canadian Infantry
Died on 17th August 1917 aged 19
Son of Mrs. P. McAuliffe

Grave: II J 29

The London Gazette 30338
16th October 1917

For most conspicuous bravery, courage and devotion to duty. After the capture of a position, the enemy massed in force and counter-attacked. The situation became very critical, all wires being cut. It was of the utmost importance to get word back to Headquarters. This soldier and one other were given the message with orders to deliver the same at all costs. The other messenger was killed. Private Brown had his arm shattered but continued on through an intense barrage until he arrived at the close support lines and found an officer.

He was so spent that he fell down the dug-out steps, but retained consciousness long enough to hand over his message, saying ‘ Important message.’ He then became unconscious and died in the dressing station a few hours later.

His devotion to duty was of the highest possible degree imaginable, and his successful delivery of the message undoubtedly saved the loss of the position for the time and prevented many casualties.

Okill Learmonth VC

Major Okill Learmonth VC
2nd Bn Canadian Infantry
Died on 19th August 1917 aged 23
Only son of Mr. and Mrs. William Learmonth
of St. Louis Rd., Quebec

Grave: II K 9

The London Gazette 30372
6th November 1917

For most conspicuous bravery and exceptional devotion to duty. During a determined counter-attack on our new positions, this officer, when his company was momentarily surprised, instantly charged and personally disposed of the attackers. Later he carried on a tremendous fight with the advancing enemy.

Although under intense barrage fire and mortally wounded, he stood on the parapet of the trench, and bombed the enemy continuously and directed the defence in such a manner as to infuse a spirit of utmost resistance into his men. On several occasions this very brave officer actually caught bombs thrown at him by the enemy and threw them back.

When he was unable by reason of his wounds to carry on the fight he still refused to be carried out of the line, and continued to give instructions and invaluable advice to his junior officers, finally handing over all his duties before he was evacuated from the front line to the hospital where he died.


Major General Frederick Wing CB

Major General Frederick Wing CB
Royal Artillery
Commanding 12th (Eastern) Division
Died on 2nd October 1915 aged 54
Son of Major Vincent Wing (95th Regiment)
Husband of Mary Wing
of Ripley, Littlehampton, Sussex

Grave: I K 15

Frederick Wing was the third Divisional commander to be killed at the Battle of Loos.

Brigadier General Malcolm Peake

Brigadier General Malcolm Peake CMG
Royal Artillery
I Corps Staff
Died on 27th August 1917 aged 52
Son of Frederick and Charlotte Peake
Husband of Louisa Peake
of 11, Onslow Crescent, London

Grave: I U 2

Martin Young

2nd Lieutenant Martin Young
7th Bn King’s Own Scottish Borderers
Died on 25th September 1915 aged 21
Son of Colonel Frederic and Alice De Bude Young
of Ripley House, Ripley, Surrey.

Private E Martin 17696
2nd Bn Bedfordshire Regiment
Died on 27th September 1915
Son of Mrs. J. Martin
of 70, Water End, Cople, Bedford

Grave: I A 29

On the 25th September 1915 the 7th Bn KOSB had a difficult start to the attack. The gas hung in their own trenches and for a moment the soldiers’ will to go over the top hung in the balance. 2nd Lieutenant Martin Young cried out to his piper, Daniel Laidlaw to play the men forward. Climbing onto the parapet Laidlaw took off his own gas mask and struck up Blue bonnets over the border. The skirl of the pipes rallied the men and all went forward following their piper.

A shell wounded Laidlaw but he kept going until a second shell brought him down and killed Young. Daniel Laidlaw was awarded the Victoria Cross — he survived the war.

Lance Corporal Edwin Stanley

Lance Corporal Edwin Stanley 437867
15th Bn Canadian Infantry
48th Highlanders of Canada
Died on 16th August 1917 aged 37

Grave: II K 15

James Kershaw

James Kershaw
Church Army Volunteer
Died on 18th June 1917

Grave: I L 27

Lance Corporal Arthur MacLennan

Lance Corporal Arthur MacLennan 715757
87th Bn Canadian Infantry
Died on 16th August 1917 aged 21
Son of Charles and Ada MacLennan
of Scotsburn, Pictou Co., Nova Scotia

Grave: II J 23


Shot at Dawn

There are three executed soldiers within this cemetery

Private Arthur Hamilton

Private Arthur Hamilton 39213
14th Bn Durham Light Infantry
Died on 27th March 1917 aged 31

Grave: I P 17

Shot at Dawn for desertion

Whilst serving in the Cambrin sector Arthur Hamilton left his unit and made his way to the port of Calais. When stopped by the authorities he initially gave them false particulars but his true identity was quickly discovered.

His attempts at deceit may not have assisted his defence of being too ill for trench duty.

Sapper Frederick Malyon

Sapper Frederick Malyon 13224
Royal Engineers
12th Coy. attd. Royal Field Artillery
Died on 4th April 1917
Son of Mr. W. Malyon
of I, Myrtle Villas, Milton Rd., Swanscombe, Kent

Grave: I P 18

Shot at Dawn for desertion

Frederick Malyon was a professional soldier who had compiled a lengthy record of going absent or sick when his unit was detailed for the front. On 31st July 1916 whilst at Brandhoek (Belgium) he went absent and managed to stay at-large until his arrest not far away on 27th January 1917.

Whilst his previous short absences had resulted in minor punishments this time the line was drawn and the Court Martial at Mazingarbe condemned him to death with no recommendation for clemency.

Private Francis Murray

Private Francis Murray S/2889
9th Bn Gordon Highlanders
Died on 1st October 1916
Son of William Murray
of 2, Welsh Row, Calderbank, Airdrie

Grave: I P 2

Shot at Dawn for murder

It would appear that there are no records available stating just whom the two people were that Murray is supposed to have murdered.


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

CWGC Poppy Button