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Étaples Military Cemetery

Location

Étaples is a town about 27 kilometres south of Boulogne. The Military Cemetery is to the north of the town, on the west side of the road to Boulogne.

There is plenty of space for parking on either side of this busy main road.

GPS N E Wikimapia
Decimal 50.535015 1.624668 Map

Étaples Military Cemetery

 

Historical Information

The cemetery is the largest Commission cemetery in France.

During the First World War, the area around the small fishing port of Étaples was the scene of immense concentrations of Commonwealth reinforcement camps and hospitals. It was remote from attack, except from aircraft, and accessible by railway from both the northern or the southern battlefields. At its peak, 100,000 troops were housed there with Commonwealth army training and reinforcement camps and an extensive complex of hospitals.

In 1917, 100,000 troops were camped among the sand dunes and the hospitals, which included eleven general, one stationary, four Red Cross hospitals and a convalescent depot, could deal with 22,000 wounded or sick. In September 1919, 10 months after the Armistice, three hospitals and the Q.M.A.A.C. convalescent depot remained.

Étaples Military Cemetery

The cemetery is the final resting place of 20 women, including nurses, army auxiliaries and civilian volunteers of the YMCA and Scottish Church Huts organisations. They were killed in air raids or by disease.

By the latter part of the war, more than 2,500 women were serving at the Étaples base. Hailing from many parts of the British Empire as well as France and America, they included ambulance drivers, nurses, members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment and those employed by the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps as bakers, clerks, telephonists and gardeners.

In its early years, the cemetery was visible as the train from Boulogne to Paris passed close by. Sir Fabian Ware, the founder of the Imperial War Graves Commission, ensured that trains would linger for a minute or so to allow passengers a glimpse.

The stone of remembrance

Hospitals were stationed again at Étaples during the Second World War. The cemetery was used for burials from January 1940 until the evacuation at the end of May 1940. After the war, a number of graves were brought into the cemetery from other French burial grounds. Of the 119 Second World War burials, 38 are unidentified.

Étaples Military Cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens as Principal Architect and Major George Hartley Goldsmith as Assistant Architect.

Jewish graves surrounding a German soldier

 

Looking up towards the entrance

Looking up towards the Entrance Towers at Étaples

 


Douglas Reynolds VC

Major Douglas Reynolds VC
83rd Brigade Royal Field Artillery
Died on 23rd February 1916 aged 33
Husband of Mrs Douglas Reynolds
of Clerkley Court, Leatherhead, Surrey

Grave: I A 20

The London Gazette 28976
16th November 1914

At Le Cateau, on 26th August, he took up two teams and limbered up two guns under heavy Artillery and Infantry fire, and though the enemy was within 100 yards, he got one gun away safely.

At Pisseloup, on 9th September he reconnoitred at close range, discovered a battery which was holding up the advance and silenced it.

He was severely wounded on 15th September 1914.

 


Private William de Tolle-Swain

Private William de Tolle-Swain 515203
Vicomte de Tolle
C Coy 1st/14th Bn London Regiment
(London Scottish)
Died on 13th August 1918 aged 19
Only son of William and Florence de Tolle-Swain
(Comte et Comtesse de Tolle)
of Bournemouth

Grave: LXVII G 3


Brigadier General Edgar Cox

Brigadier General Edgar Cox DSO
General Staff, Head of Intelligence at GHQ
Formerly Royal Engineers
Died on 26th August 1918 aged 36
Officer of the Order of the Crown (Belgium),
Officer of the Order of St Maurice and St Lazarus (Italy)
Son of George and Louisa Cox
Husband of Nora Cox,
of Morningside, Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa

Grave: XXVIII O 4


Brigadier General Dunam MacInnes

Brigadier General Dunam MacInnes CMG DSO
Royal Engineers
Inspector of Mines, GHQ, 1st Echelon
Died on 23rd May 1918 aged 47
Order of St Stanislas, 1st Class (Russia)
Officer of The Legion of Honour (France)
Son of Hon. Donald and Mary MacInnes
of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Husband of Millicent MacInnes,
of The Ridge, Camberley, Surrey

Grave: XXVIII L 2


2nd Lieutenant Thomas Fremantle

2nd Lieutenant Thomas Fremantle
C Coy 5th Bn Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
Died on 17th October 1915 aged 18
Eldest son of Lt Col the Hon. Thomas Fremantle
(afterwards 3rd Baron Cottesloe)
of Swanbourne, Bucks
Scholar of Eton College.
Left Eton to join the Army, September 1914

Grave: I B 12


Rifleman Lawrence La Monte

Rifleman Lawrence La Monte R/17240
2nd Bn King’s Royal Rifle Corps
Died on 13th July 1916 aged 43
Son of Abram and Helen La Monte
of Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
Attended Princeton University and Hamilton College.
Served in the South African War.
Previously a member of British South African Mounted Police.
A monument has been erected in the family plot at Binghampton, New York, USA

Grave: II B 83A


Captain Robert Bruce Ellis

Captain Robert Bruce Ellis MC
6th Bn Black Watch
(Royal Highlanders)
Died on 21st November 1916 aged 28
Son of John and Helen Ellis
Bridge of Earn, Perthshire.
Deceased was in civil life Factor to
Colonel Sir Robert Moncreiffe, commanding
the 6th Bn Black Watch, at his estate of Moncreiffe

Grave: I B 72


Lieutenant Vincent Crombie

Lieutenant Vincent Crombie MC
19th Bn Canadian Infantry
Died on 26th October 1918 aged 21
Son of Robert and Susan Crombie
of Toronto
Enlisted Oct. 1914. In France, Sept. 1915
Wounded the second time on the Somme Front Sept. 1916

Grave: XLVIII B 7

One son, of four
serving, here,
one in England
Both died of wounds

His brother Lieutenant Charles Crombie
5th Bn Canadian Infantry is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery, England. Robert and Joseph, who were in the Canadian Engineers, survived.
Vincent Crombie played an important part in the Canadians’ first ever confrontation with German tanks

 


Nursing Sister Margaret Lowe

Nursing Sister Margaret Lowe
1st Canadian General Hospital
Canadian Army Nursing Service
Died on 28th May 1918 aged 32
Daughter of Thomas Lowe
of Binscarth, Manitoba

Grave: XXVIII M 9


Nursing Sister Katherine MacDonald

Nursing Sister Katherine Macdonald
1st Canadian General Hospital
Canadian Army Nursing Service
Died on 28th May 1918 aged 31
Daughter of Mary and the late Angus Macdonald
of Brantford, Ontario

Grave: XXVIII L 8


Nursing Sister Gladys Wake

Nursing Sister Gladys Wake
1st Canadian General Hospital
Canadian Army Nursing Service
Died on 28th May 1918 aged 34
Daughter of Gervas and Amy Wake
of Compton Hill, Malvern, Worcestershire
Born at Esqlaimault, British Columbia

Grave: XXVIII L 5

 


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Étaples Military Cemetery

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