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Webmatters : Bully-Grenay Communal Cemetery, British Extension

Bully-Grenay, British Extension

Location

Bully is approximately 20 kilometres north of Arras. From Arras, take the D937 towards Béthune. At Sains-en-Gohelle, turn right onto the D166E towards Bully. At the first (Casimir Beugret) roundabout, turn right into the Rue Ferdinand Marche. The Cemetery (known locally as the ‘Cimetière de Bully-les-Mines’) is 200 metres down this road on the right. The Commonwealth war graves plot is reached via Allée 8.

GPS N E Wikimapia
Decimal 50.446741 2.717169 Map

Bully-Grenay Communal Cemetery

 

Historical Information

Bully-Grenay is the name of the railway station (on the main Hazebrouck-Arras line) serving this village and Grenay, but the double name was generally applied to the village and the communal cemetery of Bully by the troops.

Bully-Grenay Communal Cemetery, French Extension

The French Extension

The FRENCH EXTENSION was made by French troops on the west side of the communal cemetery, and Commonwealth forces, who took their place in this part of the line in June 1915, buried in it until June 1916. The French extension contains 91 Commonwealth burials of the First World War.

Bully-Grenay Communal Cemetery, British Extension

The British Extension

The BRITISH EXTENSION, on the south-west side of the communal cemetery, was begun at the end of April 1916, and was used until October 1918. From April 1917 to March 1918 (Plot II, Row E to the last row of Plot IV), it was very largely an artillery burial ground. At the Armistice, Plot VI, Rows A-C, had been completed, and the cemetery contained 595 graves.

After the Armistice, Plots V (D-G), VI (C and D) and VII to IX were made when graves were brought in from isolated positions and small burial grounds on the battlefields east of Grenay. Three came from Grenay Churchyard, which had been damaged by shell fire and was closed. One came from the German Extension of Sallaumines Communal Cemetery.

There are now 803 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War in the British extension. 141 of the burials are unidentified and there are special memorials to two casualties known to have been buried at Sallaumines whose graves could not be found. The extension also contains one Second World War burial.

The British extension was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Bully-Grenay War Memorial

The war memorial in the village

 


Rifleman Claude Disney

Rifleman Claude Disney R/9059
13th Bn King’s Royal Rifle Corps
Died on 31st August 1916 aged 25
Son of Thomas and Emma Disney
of Main St, Keyworth, Notts

Grave: I B 16

 

Shot at Dawn

There are four soldiers who were executed within the cemetery.

In the British Extension

Private John Smith 2506
1st Bn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
Died on 2nd July 1916 aged 20
Son of Nancy Smith
of 125, Smithy Street, Leigh, Lancashire

Grave: II A 9

Shot at Dawn for desertion

John was already a reservist when the war broke out. He arrived in France in January 1915. He was wounded and returned home for a short period. In January 1915 he went missing and over the next few months was absent from duty on a number of occasions. He was given minor punishments for each offence. Then in May 1915 he went missing for almost three weeks. This time he was sent for Court Martial and found himself sentenced to death.

Private David Stevenson G/52128
13th Bn Middlesex Regiment
Died on 18th July 1918 aged 23

Grave: V G 13

Shot at Dawn for desertion

Running up a couple of dozen offences in 1915 Stevenson was sent to France with his unit in 1917. Within a few months he started going absent again and was eventually charged with Desertion (which carries the more damning suggestion that you have no intention of returning) and given five years in prison — which was then suspended. On his return to active service David instantly went back to his habit of clearing off when ever the chance was opportune. By June 1918 his commanders had had enough, so after his latest seven week absence they could find no mitigating circumstances in his favour at all.

Private Elsworth Young 67882
25th Bn Canadian Infantry
Died on 29 October 1916 aged 19

Grave: II B 14

Shot at Dawn for desertion

Elsworth Young had enlisted in November 1914 and been sent to France. Following the Battle of Courcelette in September 1916 he went missing and was eventually arrested by Military police kilometres behind the lines dressed as a Corporal and giving a false name. Returned to his unit he was sent for Court Martial.

In the French Extension

Driver James Swaine 86872
Grave: B 6

 


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Cantaing British Cemetery

Guards Grave

Raperie British Cemetery

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