AIF Burial Ground, Grass Lane, Flers

Cemetery Details

Location Flers, Somme, France
Co‑ordinates N50.0567106, E2.8421067
Description

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

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Names

Showing 8 people of interest from cemetery

PERKINS, Edward Claude

Service number 4503
Private
17th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 10 Mar 1900

MCKECHNIE, John Adolph

Service number 2191
Sergeant
10th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 21 May 1893

WILSON, Harold Wallace

Service number 5096
Private
32nd Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 18 Sep 1896

FRANCIS, Herbert Walter Alexander

Service number 3953
Private
31st Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 7 Aug 1895

BROWN, Clarence Charles William

Service number 516
Lance Corporal
27th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 19 Nov 1893

BARNETT, Lionel Tom

Service number OFFICER
Lieutenant
9th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 1 Nov 1890

TEVELEIN, Eric Laidlaw

Service number 29
Corporal
18th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 15 Aug 1890

HOUSTON, Alexander

Service number 2172
Private
27th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 8 Apr 1882

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