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laughton

Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension

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laughton

In the last weeks of the Great War there were 17,064 men lost in France with 536 of those known to be buried in the Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension 51a.W.21.c.6.4. There is only one (1) Canadian known to be buried in this cemetery - Sapper Israel Joseph Friedman #3208156 of the 1st Canadian Railway Troops. He was concentrated from 51a.V.30.d.2.8, which from the number of others at that location (COG-BR 2511053 ), must have been one of the concentration cemeteries. His casualty report tells me he was proceeding through Solesmes with a comrade for supplies on 28 October 1918 when he was instantly killed by an enemy shell that landed nearby. He was buried in grave 1.A.1 of the St. Python Communal Cemetery Extension southeast of Denain. There they give the coordinates as 51a.V.30.d.4.8.

 

From the CWGC history of the cemetery, to which I will add the details for the concentration cemeteries and find the records:

Quote

Part of the II Corps retired through this area during the Retreat from Mons in August 1914, and in October 1918, Commonwealth forces returned during the Advance to Victory. Briastre was captured on 10 October 1918, Belle Vue Farm on 20 October, Romeries itself and Beaudignies on 23 October and Englefontaine on 26 October. The Battle of the Sambre, the last great action of the war, carried the front forward into Belgium and ended with the Armistice. Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension is one of the burial grounds of those who died between these dates. The original extension is Plot I, made by the 3rd and New Zealand Divisions, and containing 128 graves.

 

The remaining plots were made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from isolated positions on the battlefield, including (in Plot X) a few graves of 25 August 1914, and from small cemeteries, including:-

 

  • BRIASTRE-SOLESMES ROAD MILITARY CEMETERY, BRIASTRE 57b.E.25..a.4.7(Nord), was used by the 37th Division and the 1st Wellington Regiment (New Zealand) from the 11th to the 16th October, 1918. It contained the graves of 25 soldiers from the United Kingdom (12 of the 4th Middlesex COG-BR 2511094) and 11 from New Zealand. It was about 800 metres South-East of Briastre, across the Selle.
  • BRIASTRE CHURCHYARD see below contained the grave of one New Zealand soldier.
  • BELLEVUE FARM CEMETERY, BRIASTRE 57b.E.19.c.2.4, was 200 metres South of the Farm, which was almost immediately East of Briastre, across the Selle. It contained the graves of 16 soldiers of the 4th Middlesex who fell on the 10th October. (my note - that means it has to be at 57b.D.19 so the DAL is incorrect - confirmed on COG-BR 2511060)
  • BEAUDIGNIES CHURCHYARD COG-BR 2511144 51a.R.32.d.5.9 (Nord) contained the graves of five New Zealand soldiers who fell on the 4th November.
  • ENGLEFONTAINE GERMAN CEMETERY contained the graves of three soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell on the 26th and 27th October.
  • GRAND GAY FARM CEMETERY, LOUVIGNIES-QUESNOY (Nord), was nearly 1.6 kilometres South of Louvignies. There were buried in it 37 soldiers from the United Kingdom, 24 of whom belonged to the 9th Duke of Wellington's.
  • SALESCHES CHURCHYARD (Nord) contained the graves of three soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell on the 25th and 29th October.
  • ST. PYTHON COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION 51a.V.30.d.2.8 was made by the 2nd Division. It contained the graves of 23 soldiers from the United Kingdom, two from New Zealand, and one from Canada, who fell between the 27th October and the 8th November.

 

There are now 832 burials and commemorations of the First World War in the extension. 129 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 15 casualties believed to be buried among them.

 

The DAL also shows a Briastre Communal Cemetery Extension at 57b.D.24.a.4.6, which may show up in the records. For Beaudugnies, the list only has the communal cemetery at 51a.R.32.c.8.8. For Englefontaine I see a British Cemetery at 51.S.26.a.2.4. For the Louvignies location we have a British Cemetery at 51.S.1.d.4.6.

 

I will add the document ZIP File links and update the list as that information becomes available.

 

GRRF Zip File

COG-BR Zip File

Edited by laughton
updating files as found

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laughton

A little confusion at the time of the concentrations, as many a man of New Zealand Otago Regiment are listed as Canadians from the Ontario Regiment.

 

Some unknowns in this cemetery:

 

2511051 - British Serjeant

:poppy:2511069 - Serjeant of the Warwick Regiment - only Serjeant Arthur Lake #888 of the 10th Battalion is missing in that period (same Bn as Sgt. Butler in the cemetery)

2511073 - British Officer of the East Surrey Regiment (beside known of 9th East Surrey) - he was identified as 2nd Lt. G. W. Keep

2511090 - two (2) British Officers of the 7th East Yorkshire Regiment in a group - none in October so went back into September

2511121 - Airman but no details other than location at 51a.X.4.d.2.2 and in with group of 4 November 1918

  • later identified as Lt. A. E. Bourns of 57 Sqd. (GRRF 2510943)

2511125 - another Officer of the 7th East Yorkshire Regiment

  • checked and there is an Officer that was attached to the 7th from the 5th Yorkshire Regiment - 2nd Lt. L. A. J. Watson, and he is missing
  • another one. 2nd Lt. N. K. Barrett was attached to the 1st East Yorkshire - check that isn't a transcription error
  • need three total so this is a mystery

:poppy:2511128 - British Airman - burnt 23 October 1918 German Cross T.6909 51a.A.21.d.9.3, another one on the same page (list is on page 238 of Trevor's book @fetubi)

  • if that is a plane ID the closest I see is D4909 an RE8 of 59 Sqd on 18th October near Solesmes 57b.D.12.c.5.0 (but wrong area)
  • I have not seen "T" in an aircraft identification before but it does not say it was the number on the plane, just on the cross (but makes sense the plane)

2511141 - they found two of these lads of the South Lancashire Regiment but not all of them (CWGC Link) - one of these boys (CWGC Link)

Edited by laughton

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fetubi

Richard, I've found who it is, on October 23rd - I'll email you.

Trevor

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fetubi

Richard I've sent you details of my positive findings.  Btw, this 59 Sqn in D4909 crew were found in 1920 in Caudry German Cem. And, the map ref is Sh.57A...

 

Cheers,

 

Trevor

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laughton

Fantastic! At least I got the number correct - map references, early in the morning - sleepy eyes!  I looked up Caudry German Militiary Cemetery on DAL and that gives me 57b.J.19 a.9.1. The Caudry Communal Cemetery is 57b.I.24.d.8.8.

 

But that is not who you say is here ..... another group perhaps ....

 

Off to look for your report!

Edited by laughton

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laughton

Got your report - fantastic research on your part! Can we put your findings here - well actually in a separate topic for Romeries Case #2? (see link below) I can do that if you are in agreement.

 

I love it when it all comes together!

Edited by laughton

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