Courcelette British Cemetery

Courcelette is a village some 10 kilometres north-east of the town of Albert, just off the D929 road to Bapaume. Courcelette British 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.

The commune and the village of Courcelette were the scene of very heavy fighting in September 1916. On the 15th September 1916, 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 24th August 1918.

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. 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 cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

Number of Burials by Unit

Canadian burials
398
  Australian burials
215
Royal Field Artillery
32
  Royal Fusiliers
19
King’s Royal Rifle Corps
14
  Dorsetshire Regiment
12
Northumberland Fusiliers
12
  South Staffordshire Regiment
9
Cheshire Regiment
8
  Royal Berkshire Regiment
7
Lancashire Fusiliers
5
  Royal Engineers
5
King’s Liverpool Regiment
4
  Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
4
Manchester Regiment
4
  Norfolk Regiment
4
Northamptonshire Regiment
4
  Machine Gun Corps
3
Middlesex Regiment
3
  Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
3
East Surrey Regiment
2
  East Yorkshire Regiment
2
Essex Regiment
2
  Gordon Highlanders
2
Royal Scots – Lothian Regiment
2
  Royal Sussex Regiment
2
Royal West Kent Regiment
2
  Suffolk Regiment
2
Bedfordshire Regiment
1
  Black Watch
1
Border Regiment
1
  Queen’s – Royal West Surrey Regiment
1
Royal Army Medical Corps
1
  Royal Irish Fusiliers
1
Royal Irish Rifles
1
   
Identified burials
788
     
Unidentified burials
1177
     
Total burials
1965
     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: