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Webmatters : Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres

Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery

Location

Armentières is a town in the Department of the Nord, on the Belgian frontier, 14.5 kilometres north-west of Lille.

From the town of Armentières take the D945 to Éstaires. Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery is signposted off this road just before Erquinghem-sur-la-Lys.

There is a level crossing situated approximately 100 metres from the cemetery.

GPS N E Wikimapia
Decimal 50.685794 2.863049 Map

Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery

 

Historical Information

Armentières was occupied by the 4th Division on 17th October 1914 and it remained within the Allied lines until its evacuation ahead of the German advance on 10th April 1918, after a prolonged and heavy bombardment with gas shell. It was occupied by the Germans next day, and was not recovered until 3rd October 1918.

Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery was begun (Plot IX) in October 1914 and during the winter of 1914-15 it was used for civilian burials (later removed), the town cemetery at Le Bizet being too greatly exposed. The cemetery continued to be used by field ambulances and fighting units (particularly the 4th, 6th, 21st, New Zealand, 17th and 57th (West Lancashire) Divisions and the Australian Corps) until April 1918. Plots V, VI, VII and X were then used by the Germans.

Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery

The cemetery now contains 2,132 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. In 1925, 455 German graves were removed from Plots V and VI, but more than 500 remain in the cemetery.

There are also 33 Second World War burials, mostly dating from the months of occupation by the British Expeditionary Force, before the German invasion of May 1940.

Within the cemetery stands the Cite Bonjean (NEW Zealand) Memorial, commemorating 47 officers and men of the New Zealand Division who died in the neighbourhood of Armentières and have no known grave.

The cemetery and memorial were designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

The roses in bloom

The roses in bloom

 

Captain Angus Makant

Captain Angus Makant, 5th Bn The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
Died on 14th March 1915 aged 26. Grave IX C 37
Son of Mr J and Florence Makant, of Gilnow Lodge, Bolton
Educated at Harrow and Clare College, Cambridge. B.A.(Cantab.)

 


Lieutenant Francis Gibson

Lieutenant Francis Gibson
15th Bn Canadian Infantry
48th Highlanders of Canada
Died on 19th August 1915 aged 22
Son of Major General Sir John Gibson, KCMG.
and Lady Gibson, of Ravenscliffe, Hamilton, Ontario

Grave: IX C 2


2nd Lieutenant Dennis Theodore-Smith

2nd Lieutenant Dennis Theodore-Smith
Royal Engineers
Died on 30th August 1915 aged 18
Son of Ernest and Dora Theodore-Smith
of 99, Little Cadogan Place, Sloane St, London

Grave: IX B 2

And the glory of the garden
It shall never pass away
Kipling

Last line of his poem,
The Glory of the Garden


Korporaal Julius Geerts

Korporaal Julius Geerts
2nd Regiment-Jagers te voet
Born in Sint Lievens-Esche
29th October 1895
Died on 17th September 1915 aged 19

Grave: IX D 1


Brigadier Auguste Canivet

Brigadier Auguste Canivet
19e Escadron Train des Equipages Territoriale
Died on 31st May 1918 aged 40
Native of Lorient (56)

Grave: IX D 59

Had been an interpreter for the
New Zealand Division


Private Eruera Kawhia

Private Eruera Kawhia 16/95
NZ Maori Battalion
Died on 8th June 1916 aged 20
Son of Raniera and Heni Kawhia
of Rangitukia, New Zealand

Grave: II A 34


Rifleman John McLeod

Rifleman John McLeod 24/858
2nd Bn 3rd NZ Rifle Brigade
Died on 24th June 1916 aged 22
Son of Mrs. Elizabeth McLeod
of Mosgiel, New Zealand

Grave: II B 13

 

Other cemeteries in the area


Recent Additions

Canadian Cemetery No.2

Givenchy Road Canadian Cemetery

Petit Vimy British Cemetery

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