The A.I.F. Burial Ground is 2 Kms north of the village of Flers, in the Department of the Somme. It is also widely known as Grass Lane cemetery.
To get there, travel south-west of Bapaume on the D929 in the direction of Albert for 6 Kms to the village of Le Sars. Turn left eastwards on the D11 in the direction of Geudecourt for 3.5 Kms to the D74/D197 junction. Continue along the D74 in the direction of Geudecourt.
The area marked the extent of exploitation following the fighting in which the AIF had taken part around Pozieres. While the AIF attacked towards Mouquet Farm. Pozieres was used as the start point of subsequent operations towards Courcelette and Flers by other Allied forces. Following the fighting at Mouquet Farm the AIF was taken out of the line and sent to Belgium. The Battle of Flers-Courcelette took place around the 15/16 September, when Canadian troops took Courcelette and the New Zealand and 41st Divisions behind tanks, the innovative new weapons that were used here for the first time, captured Flers.
The AIF returned from Belgium in October and went back into the line around Flers and Guedecourt and then spent the winter of 1916 in the near vicinity, the coldest in living memory.
The cemetery was begun by Australian casualty clearing stations in the area, in November 1916-February 1917 beginning with the fighting involving the 7th Brigade at Flers around 5 November 1916. Battalions such as the 27th from South Australia suffered heavy losses and many are buried here. These original graves are in Plot I, Rows A and B. It was very greatly enlarged after the Armistice when almost 4,000 Commonwealth and French graves were brought in from the battlefields of the Somme, and later from a wider area.
The great majority of the graves in A.I.F. Burial Ground date from the autumn of 1916, but one is from 1914, and there are others from the spring of 1917 and the spring and summer of 1918.
A full description is detailed on the Commonwealth War Graves web page HERE (www.cwgc.org)
See the action button for a listing of Australian soldiers buried here in alphabetical order