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Webmatters : A.I.F. Burial Ground, Flers

A.I.F. Burial Ground, Flers


A.I.F. Burial Ground is 2 Kms north of the village of Flers, in the Department of the Somme. Travel south-west of Bapaume on the D929 in the direction of Albert for 6 km to the village of Le Sars.

Turn left eastwards on the D11 in the direction of Geudecourt for 3.5 km to the D74/D197 junction. Continue along the D74 in the direction of Geudecourt for 500 metres when a CWGC signpost will be seen indicating the A.I.F. Burial Ground along a track to the right.

Decimal 50.05985 2.83119 Map

A.I.F. Burial Ground


Historical Information

Flers was captured on 15th September 1916, in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, when it was entered by the New Zealand and 41st Divisions behind tanks, the innovative new weapons that were used here for the first time. The village was lost during the German advance of March 1918 and retaken at the end of the following August by the 10th West Yorks and the 6th Dorsets of the 17th Division.

The cemetery was begun by Australian medical units, posted in the neighbouring caves, in November 1916-February 1917. These original graves are in Plot I, Rows A and B. It was very greatly enlarged after the Armistice when almost 4,000 Commonwealth and French graves were brought in from the battlefields of the Somme, and later from a wider area.

The following were among the burial grounds from which Commonwealth graves were taken to this cemetery:

  • Factory Corner, Flers, a little West of the crossing of the roads from Eaucourt-L’Abbaye to Gueudecourt and from Flers to Ligny-Thilloy. This place, which had been a German Headquarters for Artillery and Engineers and had a German Cemetery, was taken by the 1st Canterbury Infantry Regiment on the 25th September, 1916, and again by the 7th East Yorks on the 27th August, 1918. Fifteen soldiers from the United Kingdom and 13 from Australia were buried here in October, 1916-March, 1917, and in August, 1918.
  • North Road Cemetery, Flers, North-West of the village, at the crossing of the Eaucourt-L’Abbaye road with “North Road” (to Factory Corner). Here were buried, in the winter of 1916-17, 13 Australian soldiers and seven from the United Kingdom.

Australian Graves

The great majority of the graves in A.I.F. Burial Ground date from the autumn of 1916, but one is from 1914, and there are others from the spring of 1917 and the spring and summer of 1918.

There are now 3,475 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 2,263 of the burials are unidentified and there are special memorials to 23 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of three casualties buried in a cemetery at Flers, who graves could not be found. The cemetery also contains 170 French and 3 German war graves.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

French Graves


Harold Jackson VC

18474 Serjeant Harold Jackson VC
7th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment
Died on 24th August 1918, aged 26
Son of Thomas and Mary Ann Jackson
of Allandales, Kirton, Boston.

Grave: XV A 21

The London Gazette 7th May 1918

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. Sjt. Jackson volunteered and went out through the hostile barrage and brought back valuable information regarding the enemy’s movements. Later, when the enemy had established themselves in our line, this NCO rushed at them, and single-handed, bombed them out into the open. Shortly afterwards, again single-handed, he stalked an enemy machine-gun, threw Mills bombs at the detachment, and put the gun out of action.

On a subsequent occasion when all his officers had become casualties, this very gallant NCO led his company in the attack, and, when ordered to retire, he withdrew the company successfully under heavy fire. He then went out repeatedly under heavy fire and carried in wounded.


Serjeant Percy Godly

Serjeant Percy Godly L/13476
32nd Bn Royal Fusiliers
Died on 4th October 1916

Grave: X K 2

Despite the difference in spelling Percy was the brother of Sidney Godley, one of the first two Victoria Crosses (the first two a private soldier) to be awarded during the war — for his defence of the Nimy bridge at Mons on 23rd August 1914. You will note that as of 2018 Percy’s surname was still being listed as Godley, despite the fact that the CWGC changed his headstone in 2016 at the request of the family.

2nd Lieutenant Norman McCormick

2nd Lieutenant Norman McCormick
22nd Bn Australian Infantry
Died on 7th November 1916 aged 27
Son of John and Laura McCormick
of 46th Elizabeth St., Elsternwick,
Victoria, Australia

Grave: I K 13

Private Horace Caston

Private Horace Caston 996
48th Bn Australian Infantry
Died on 23rd November 1916 aged 32
Son of Joseph and the late Hannah Caston
Husband of Winifred Caston,
of 2, Vinrace St., Adelaide, South Australia

Grave: I B 15


Fahey and Thornton

Private Michael Fahy 5587
2nd Bn Royal Irish Regiment
Born in Lisronagh, Co Tipperary,
Enlisted at Cashel.
Died on 21st August 1918
Private John Thornton 18506
2nd Bn Royal Irish Regiment
Born in Ardee, Co Louth,
Enlisted at Ardee.
Died on 21st August 1918
  Formerly: Royal Inniskillin Fusiliers and
Royal Dublin Fusiliers
Grave: X J 3 Grave: X J 4


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

CWGC Poppy Button