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stevie1944

I've been researching an individual of C Coy, 12th Royal Scots who was killed on 6 September 1916 by a German shell and is buried in Villers Station Cemetery. On 1916 trench maps the cemetery is not identified, but there is the outline of the cemetery. There appears to be a light rail station immediately adjacent to the station. I assume this location was selected as it was easier to unload and bury the dead right off the rail line than transporting them a distance to bury. What would this station have looked like? Is it a physical station, or are rail stops marked as stations on trench maps to denote stops along the line? This area was under the responsibility of the 27th Field Ambulance, RAMC. Were they responsible for conducting burials in this cemetery? Can anyone point me in a direction where I could find information on the burials during 1916? There was no mentioned of those killed by the shell, but there was a record in the war diary for the 14 wounded that were admitted. I assume there is some record of when burials were performed in cemeteries behind the line. Thank you for your help!

[Beugin, Hersin, Notre Dame de Lorette Region, southwest of Loos _ secret defence map].jpg

Edited by stevie1944
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WhiteStarLine

Hi Stevie, sorry,I can't contribute answer to your questions and I tried aerial photographs from McMaster without success.  An aerial photograph would provide the confirmation you seek.

 

However, from my experience I didn't see how the polygon you've inferred is the cemetery outline would necessarily be the case.  Accordingly I checked the CWGC 1920 entry for the cemetery and their location is plotted below as 44b.W.18.a.2.7.  Within this they have plot 2 graves A3 - A11 as Royal Scots killed on 6 September 1916.  We now refer to this map as Sheet 36b.

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Sometimes it's easy to see what you expect to see but looking at a high resolution modern image and Street View I think the drainage culvert just north of the single house is the light rail remnant and the original burial was as marked before relocation into Villers Station.

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Looking west along the track remnants towards the white outline of the cemetery.

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Michelle Young

You can see an information board in the Google Earth screenshot above, there was if I recall, a photo of the railway on it. The railway can be traced running into Souchez through Ablain Saint Nazaire.  I will try and see if I have a photo of the panel later. 

Michelle 

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Michelle Young

As promised, photos of the information panel and the station. I think that the old track bed is the path to the cemetery, not the culvert.

Copy of PTDC1232 edited.png

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stevie1944

Thank you Michelle! Would it be prudent to assume that the farmhouse in the original photograph is the one standing today, or was it rebuilt? The two look similar. Judging by the change in brick coloring perhaps the house was damaged and rebuilt, or a second story was added on prior to WWI? 

 

If you find yourself at Villers au Bois again, please take photographs of the 12th RS boys that were killed on 6 Sept 1916. They were from C Coy, and were the last troops leaving the line, being relived by the South Africans. A German 5.9 HE round landed among them, killing 12 and wounding 14. 

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Michelle Young

I think the station building that stands today is the post War rebuild as in the 1919 photo. Not sure when I will get back to Villers station, but will say hello for you.

 

Michelle 

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