Courcelette British Cemetery Back to Search

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Cemetery Details

Location Courcelette, Departement de la Somme - Picardie, France
Co‑ordinates N50.05594, E2.734
Description

Location Information
Courcelette is a village some 10 kilometres north-east of the town of Albert, just off the D929 road to Bapaume. The Cemetery, signposted in the village, is approximately 1 kilometre west of the village on the south side of a track (suitable for cars) from the secondary road from Courcelette to Pozieres.

History Information
Courcelette is a village immediately to the north east of Pozieres along the Amiens  - Albert Road.  Pozieres was the epicentre of sustained and protracted fighting as the southern flank of the British front during the Somme Offensive that began on 1 July 1916.

The village of Courcelette is in low ground and was the site of German artillery for much of the fighting in which the AIF was engaged.

Subsequent to the capture of the Windmill, and a change of axis by the AIF towards Mouquet Farm, Courcelette became the objective of the Canadians and was captured by them in Septemberr 1916.

The cemetery is located to the south west of the town.  It is in sight of the Windmill feature.

The cemetery was begun in November 1916 (as Mouquet Road or Sunken Road Cemetery), and used until March 1917. The original 74 burials are now parts of Plot I, Rows A to F. On 25 March 1918, Courcelette passed into German hands, but was retaken on 24 August. The cemetery was greatly enlarged after the Armistice when almost 2,000 graves were brought in, mostly those of men who died around Courcelette and Pozieres in 1916 and whose remains were not identifiable.

There are now 1,970 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 1,180 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to nine casualties five believed to be buried among them.

The commune and the village of Courcelette were the scene of very heavy fighting in September 1916. On the 15th, the village was included in the extreme left of the Allied attack and was taken by the 2nd Canadian Division supported by tanks, with the 4th and 6th Brigades storming the outer trenches and the sugar factory, and the 5th Brigade seizing the village. It was destroyed by German artillery after its capture and remained very close to the front line until the German retreat in the following spring. The cemetery was begun in November 1916 (as Mouquet Road or Sunken Road Cemetery), and used until March 1917. The original 74 burials are now parts of Plot I, Rows A to F. On 25 March 1918, Courcelette passed into German hands, but was retaken on 24 August. The cemetery was greatly enlarged after the Armistice when almost 2,000 graves were brought in, mostly those of men who died around Courcelette and Pozieres in 1916. The only considerable burial grounds concentrated into this cemetery were the following:-.

  • MOUQUET FARM CEMETERY, GRANDCOURT, immediately North of the Farm, begun by the 111th Brigade, R.F.A., in October 1916, which contained the graves of 36 soldiers. The Farm was captured by the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles on the night of the 16th-17th September, 1916, and again by the 17th Division on the 24th August, 1918.
  • RED CHATEAU CEMETERY, COURCELETTE, within the village, contained the graves of 15 soldiers from Canada and two from the United Kingdom. It was "at the entrance to a ruined dug-out," and it was used in October-December, 1916
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Names

Showing 8 people of interest from cemetery

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BURGESS, Frank

Service number 4954
Private
12th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 1888

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DENCH, George Hereward

Service number 2367
Private
28th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 28 Jun 1883

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STORY, Archibald George

Service number 2575B
Lance Corporal
10th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 29 Mar 1892

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HAWKINS, Alfred Garfield

Service number 2148
Company Sergeant Major
24th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born Apr 1891

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BRANFORD, Lance Wray

Service number 2453
Private
27th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 10 Aug 1892

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SQUIRES, Richard John

Service number 3270
Private
28th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 1897

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TOMLINSON, William O'Neill

Service number 4287
Private
50th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 1 Jul 1892

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SELTH, Norman William Gilbert

Service number Officer
Second Lieutenant
27th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 24 Aug 1896

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