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Remembered Today:

Jonchery-sur-Vesle British Cemetery

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This was an incidental find and I have never looked at any cemeteries in the vicinity of Reims. There was a collection of COG-BR documents, so I marked it for recovery, so here now are the ZIP Files:

What the CWGC has to say, to which I will look up the trench map coordinates (TMC) and add them - if I can find them:

  • COG-BR 201393: tells us that Jonchery-sur-Vesle 1/20,000 218.5 x 280.7 is Soissons 1/100,000 Sheet 22 3.K.33x15 (if that helps?)

Jonchery-sur-Vesle British Cemetery was made after the Armistice, by the concentration of graves from the battlefields and other cemeteries, including:-

  • ECUEIL FARM MILITARY CEMETERY, where 13 British soldiers were buried in July 1918, with 31 French and 25 Italian.
  • TRAMERY FRENCH MILITARY CEMETERY, where four British soldiers were buried in May 1918.
  • TRESLON CHURCHYARD and FRENCH EXTENSION JSV 1/20,000 278.65 x 215.45, where two British soldiers and one man of the Friends' Ambulance Unit were buried.

There are now over 350, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over two-thirds are unidentified and special memorials are erected to five soldiers from the United Kingdom, buried in other cemeteries, whose graves could not be found. The cemetery covers an area of 1,376 square metres and is enclosed by a low flint rubble wall.


There are some exhumations shown for maps that I do not even see on the McMaster site, such as Berry au Bac on Sheet 22. These are on records from the infamous Richard Stiles in march 1922. An American (Private E. O'Brien #105361) in 2.A.18 who I assume was later repatriated.


Some of the other locations named for exhumations, which I think are the names of the trench map, are:

  • Berry au Bac
  • Fismes
  • Vailly
  • Floisy (the American)
  • Brimont
  • a number of the graves in Plot 1 Row I appear to be German Graves on the COG-BR documents, such as COG-BR 2013901


Some points of interest, as given the location it may be possible to tie these together: (there must be more COG-BR documents somewhere if these are all exhumations - found them, list upgraded)

The two AVIATORS are marked as the text in red, as there may be some linkage. In the post that follows I am linking it all to Lieutenant James Hamilton Spence.

  • GRRF 20103807 & COG-BR 2013868: 1.A.8 Unknown 2/Lt. Devon Regiment, another Deveon Officer in 1.B.3 (see another 2/Lt. below)
  • GRRF 2013809 & COG-BR 2013870: 1.B.10 Serjeant Major Northumberland Fusiliers and an Officer in 1.B.4
  • GRRF 2013811 & COG-BR 2013871: 1.C.4 Lieutenant Aviator for @fetubi - maybe linked to Dougall below?
    • says DORMANS 1/20,000 259.0x198.9 and under that it appears to say "Courtiesy"?
    • if there is a link between this Aviator and Dougall then it is 2/Lt. B. Fisher, also at Chateau Thierry and Fere 54 Sqn B2490
    • Dormans and Chateau-Thierry (large USA Memorial there: 49°02'31.0"N 3°22'19.0"E) are both southwest of Reims
  • GRRF 2013814: 1.D.31 Major of the Royal Engineers
  • GRRF 2013818 & COG-BR 2013891: 1.F.22&23 two Drummers of the Royal Berks (1 was identified) with Pte. A. J. WInter of 2/Royal Berks
  • GRRF 2013818: 1.F.31 Captain of the Artillery
  • GRRF 2013820 & COG-BR 2013919: 1.G.38 another 2/Lt. of Devon Regiment (see note below about restructuring of the graves)
  • GRRF 2013821 &COG-BR 2013898: 1.H.14 has another Captain of the Royal Field Artillery with Lt. A.C. Brown 17 May 1918 - also Artillery
    • see note at bottom of GRRF, might be Captain J. H. Massey 27 May 1918
  • GRRF 2013822: 1.H.28 for my interest, Lt. William Dougall RAF who was Canadian @fetubi page 191F2160 54 Sqn, alone in Sopwith Camel
    • he has a separate COG-BR 2013913 saying "This body was found and buried by the caretaker of the American Cemetery at Seringues Et Nesles, the particulars being obtained from the identity disc."
    • Isolate Grave Fere en Tardenois 1/20.000 274.1 x 193.1
    • this location is also west-southwest of Reims where the other Aviator was found
  • GRRF 2013827: 2.A.24 a UBS added 12 December 2003


There was a restructuring of the graves at some point in time as COG-BR 2013918 shows graves 1.J.10 -15 (had Devon 2/Lt. in 1.J.12) became graves in section 1.G. as now the Devon 2/Lt. is in 1.G.38 COG-BR 2013919.

Edited by laughton
fixed links; update Aviators
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This is the area where there may be some linkage for the Aviators. I don't know much about this area and the battles fought there, other than it was highlighted in the American and French battles: see "United States Army in the World War 1917-1919" (free eBook)


Looking at the CWGC database, there were three (3) men of the 54th Sqn (who were in this area) that are lost in this time period.

  • Fisher on the 21st
  • James and Spence on the 16th

And there in Trevor's book appears a name that is close to what was written on the COG-BR. In the post above I noted it said something like "Courtiesy" and in Trevor's book for Lt. J. H. Spence it says COURTHIEZY. I bet it is the place where the remains were found, which would make in Spence. I have updated the map below to show that location just south of Dormans.


Unless there is another missing aviator at Courthiezy, we may have a new Missing Aviator found! Hang on a minute - how could we separate him from Lieutenant Reginald Arthur James? Both are south of Dorman's.




Edited by laughton
changed to new map clip to show COURTHIEZY
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4 hours ago, laughton said:

GRRF 2013809 & COG-BR 2013870: 1.B.10 Serjeant Major Northumberland Fusiliers and an Officer in 1.B.4


Points to CSM Charles Gunn #17609 of the 12th/13th, as others also buried in the cemetery. None missing from the 14th Battalion. Date of death fits at 27 May 1918.


The was also RSM Amos Robson #6516 alos 12th/13th KIA 27 May 1918 - so can't separate those two without more detail.


There are two (2) Second Lieutenants from this location and time (CWGC Link), the only Officers and there may be another on these documents - will check. Don't see him, so can not separate these two Officers. Share a grave candidates!


It looks like the closest other cemetery to find some of these other men might be Hermonville Military Cemetery.

  • sure enough the second one is there in grave 3.E.4 - that will go in a separate topic for that cemetery GRRF 2011788 and COG-BR 2011835
  • will we be able to separate the two 2nd/Lts.?
Edited by laughton
looking at Hermonville
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Hi Richard,

Own-up time - all information in my entries in The Sky Their Battlefield II are correct, except for the place mentioned in a couple of relevant entries is not "ROZOY" but "ROZAY". This is a town down near Touquin, where 54 Squadron had recently moved to.  The Casualty Reports are effectively saying that James and Thompson "were last seen" relatively near the airfield - NOTE - on an earlier raid than Spence's. Then we see that the two pilots were heading up towards Dormans, and that, for example, Lt Thompson subsequently crashed near Courboin, and was killed, and this is 15-20km south of Dormans. Where you see the German claim, potentially listed in my book, against Capt James - note that this is ME - putting a German claim as a possibility, against a British loss. It IS likely. and in the passage of time, one can see that it probably relates to the loss of both James AND Thompson - on that earlier raid, that afternoon.


Then... you have the evening raid, three hours later, up to the same area - on which there is ONE loss - it is Lt Spence, seen going down in flames 4 miles west of Courthiezy - all on his own, and significantly closer to Dormans.


I'm very hopeful about this - but I can't see it going anywhere with the CWGC unless we can find a map that articulates where this map ref on this COG is, though I agree - about the "Courtiesy", which has to be Courthiezy ...doc2013871.JPG

Can you help?


Very many thanks. as always Richard,(Really good work, my Friend)




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Your map is now posted and I have used the solution with success on a number of the other investigations with the French Maps:



Many of the map names used are WRONG and the X and Y coordinates are not reported consistently, so it is messy. Here I figured them out for the Northumberland Fusilier Second Lieutenants:



Thanks to Alain Dubois-Choulik who sent me down the path to the middle of the dark forest! There under a rock was the solution.



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These cases now appear in child topics under Recovering the Fallen:

  1. Jonchery-sur-Vesle British Cemetery: Cases #1a and #1b - Second Lieutenant(s), Devonshire Regiment
  2. Jonchery-sur-Vesle British Cemetery - Case #2 - Officer Northumberland Fusiliers
  3. Jonchery-sur-Vesle British Cemetery: Case #3 - Lieutenant Aviator at Courthiézy
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