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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Dompierre-sur-helpe


Khaki

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My friend whose Grandfather was at or near the above town has asked me what battlefields or military cemeteries are nearby. I know the town is in France (Department Nord) close to the Belgian border and is somewhere near Mons and Valenciennes.

Can anyone assist with more information about that locale ?

thanks

khaki

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Regimental Rogue's website remembering the Royal Canadian Regiment contains an excellent Google Maps app that shows all the CWGC cemeteries where a member of the RCR is interred or commemorated.

Although not a comprehensive map of every CWGC site, it's a good start!

http://regimentalrogue.com/rcr_great_war_cemeteries/rcr_great_war_cem_map.html

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I can't think of any CWGC plot in the immediate vicinity.

About four miles SE of Dompiere-sur-Helpe you have Avesnes-sur-Helpe Communal Cemetery, and about six miles to the NE there is Dourlers Communal Cemetery Extension. The next nearest is probably Aulnoye Communal Cemetery, about eight miles NW of Dompiere-sur-Helpe, and just beyond that you have Pont-sur-Sambre Communal Cemetery and Berlaimont Communal Cemetery and Extension. There may be other individual burials in other communal cemeteries in the area.

If you click on "casualty records" for those cemeteries, and then click at the very top of the "date of death" column, then you will get the dates of death in chronological order.

Tom

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Khaki

I've done a bit of digging and I think that Dompierre would have been within the area that the BEF concentrated before advancing to Mons to the north in August 1914. My memory may be faulty but I think that Smith-Dorrien's I Corps will have passed either close by or through the town once the retreat from Mons started. The forest of Mormal is about 4 miles to the NW at it's closest point and the retreating BEF were forced to pass either side of it with I Corps to the east and II Corps to the west. I think I Corps were closely pursued by the Germans which might have have resulted in fighting in the area during the period around 24th - 25th August. Smith-Dorrien chose to stand and fight at Le Cateau on the 26th which I think is 14 miles to the west. From that point the area was in German hands until late October-early November 1918. I have done a bit of research on a soldier who we believe was the last footballer to die in the Great War; this took place at Mauberge just to the north. I'll try and dig out my notes on this one.

I hope I haven't completely misrepresented the actions in the area; maybe some of the 1914 experts may be able to correct and/or expand. I'll have a look at the casualties in the cemeteries that Tom has identified and see if they help tell the story.

Pete.

P.S. Always good to help a fellow Indian food fan.

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I would agree what you say about le Cateau having followed the route of withdrawal of the BEF from the Belgian border to St Quentin.My uncle,a survivor from the early days of the Territorial Army involvement in Flanders, lost his brother in law (SWB) in the October 1918 push back of the Germans and is buried at Highland Cemetery at le Cateau.

Also at Le Cateau off the main street,are the graves of the three British soldiers who were left behind during the 1914 retreat and after concealing themselves were found out by the Germans and executed as "spies."

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Thank you all for your help, I will pass the information on to my friend, he has just finished reading 'back to the front' and is quite excited about the information where his grandfather was wounded,

khaki

(samosa's forever)

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Khaki

I've had a quick look at the cemeteries as per Tom's advice above and found one Connaught Ranger from September 1914 but hundreds of burials from the spring of 1918 onwards including some right up to 11th November (and a few Royal Engineers beyond).

Pete.

(make mine a Madras).

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If you have Google Earth, you can download a KML file which shows CWGC cemeteries

http://ww1centenary.oucs.ox.ac.uk/space-into-place/commonwealth-cemeteries-of-world-war-one/

Glen

A brilliant find which confirms Tom's suggestion that there are small numbers of graves in other communal cemeteries. The Dompierre Communal cemetery has three burials all within a few days of the Armistice.

Pete.

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