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Webmatters : Dartmoor Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt

Dartmoor Cemetery

Location

Becordel-Becourt is a village about 2.5 kilometres south-east of Albert. From the D938 (Albert-Peronne) take the road C2 (Becourt-Becordel). The Cemetery is immediately north of the village on the road to Becourt opposite the Communal Cemetery.

Dartmoor Cemetery

 

Historical Information

Dartmoor Cemetery was begun (as Becordel-Becourt Military Cemetery) in August 1915, and was used by the Battalions holding that part of the line.

In May 1916, its name was changed at the request of the 8th and 9th Battalions of the Devonshire Regiment. In September 1916, the XV Corps Main Dressing Station was established in the neighbourhood.

In 1917 the Cemetery was scarcely used. It passed into enemy hands on the 26th March 1918, but on the 24th August it was retaken by the 12th Division.

There are five burials of August, 1918, in Plot II, Row E.

Robert and George Lee, father and son

Father and Son

Corporal Robert Lee 71939
A Battery 156th Bde Royal Field Artillery
Died on 5th September 1916 aged 19
Son of Sergeant and Frances Lee,
of 16, Talfourd Rd, London.
Sergeant George Lee 6029
A Battery 156th Bde Royal Field Artillery
Died on 5th September 1916 aged 44
Husband of Frances Lee,
of 16 Talfourd Rd, London
Grave: I A 36 Grave: I A 35

In adjoining graves in Plot I, Row A, are buried a father and son, who served in the same Battery, and were killed in action on the same day.

There are now over 750, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site.

The New Zealand Division erected in it a memorial to their officers and men who fell near Flers in September and October 1916, and the 100th Machine Gun Company another to record their losses in July 1916.

The Cemetery covers an area of 4,245 square metres and is enclosed by a red-brick wall.

 


James Miller VC

Private 12639 James Miller VC
7th Bn Royal Lancaster Regiment
Died on 30th July 1916 aged 26

Grave: I C 64

The London Gazette No 29740
8th September 1916

For most conspicuous bravery. His Battalion was consolidating a position after its capture by assault. Private Miller was ordered to take an important message under heavy shell and rifle fire and to bring back a reply at all costs. He was compelled to cross the open, and on leaving the trench was shot almost immediately in the back, the bullet coming out through his abdomen.

In spite of this, with heroic courage and self-sacrifice, he compressed with his hand the gaping wound in his abdomen, delivered his message, staggered back with the answer and fell at the feet of the officer to whom he delivered it. He gave his life with a supreme devotion to duty.


Lieutenant Henry Webber

Lieutenant Henry Webber
7th Bn South Lancashire Regiment
Died on 21st July 1916 aged 67
Son of William and Eliza Webber
Husband of the late Emily Webber
Native of Horley, Surrey
For over 40 years a member of the London Stock Exchange

Henry Webber is the oldest known battle death recorded for the First World War

Grave: I E 54


2nd Lieutenant Frederick Hughes

2nd Lieutenant Frederick Hughes
3rd Bn Northumberland Fusiliers
Died on 26th June 1916 aged 26
Son of the Rev S and Julia Hughes,
of Porterville, California

Finished a brilliant University Course and had held his chair as Professor less than two years when he went to England with the McGill University Corps

Transferred later to the Northumberland Fusiliers

Grave: I F 38

 


Private John Sweeney

Private John Sweeney 8/1384
1st Bn Otago Regiment
Died on 2nd October 1916 aged 37

Grave: II B 1

Shot at Dawn for desertion

John Sweeney was a Tasmanian who had joined the New Zealand Army in October 1914. Having served at Gallipoli he arrived in France in 1916. At the end of July he deserted whilst serving near Armentières. Arrested and brought back to his unit on 11th September he was immediately sent before a court martial for desertion.

The death sentence was approved and Sweeney was shot at 0544 hours on the 2nd October.

His platoon commander 2nd Lieutenant William Bain gave evidence at the hearing. He did not live as long as Sweeney, being killed in battle on the 28th September.

 

Other cemeteries in the area

In the former there is another holder of the Victoria Cross, Major Loudoun-Shand of the Yorkshire Regiment.

In the latter is the grave of Robert Gilson a close friend and fellow writer of the author JRR Tolkien.


Recent Additions

Canadian Cemetery No.2

Givenchy Road Canadian Cemetery

Petit Vimy British Cemetery

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