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Remembered Today:

Arras Road Cemetery, Roclincourt


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This cemetery has been studied under a number of cases here on the GWF. There is also a "dead topic" on that cemetery, as the photograph links are dead and the author has not been back since 2014.

 

Ted Walshe has the cemetery video in his blog: https://www.greatwarforum.org/blogs/entry/2574-arras-road-cemetery/

 

The collected documents for the cemetery are here in the Shared MediaFire site:

I have left the SPEC-EXH documents with the applicable COG-BR documents, rather than separate them into their own folder.

 

There are some unique facts related to this cemetery and the use of the site for concentrations, as other cemeteries became full and then this cemetery itself was full. This text taken from one of my other topics (this one) highlights those issues:

 

Quote

Source: "Gavrelle: Arras (Battleground Europe)" by Kyle Tallett & Trevor Tasker. 

 

The visible graves were exhumed from Gavrelle and concentrated into large cemeteries nearby, which in the early 1920s were officially declared closed, and perimeter walls built. With foundations being dug for new buildings and with the fields being ploughed again, even more graves were discovered. A few years after the war the body of Sub-Lieutenant Cleves was found in a field just north of Gavrelle; he was reburied at Cabaret Rouge Cemetery, north west of Arras. By 1926 this cemetery was becoming full, and Arras Road Cemetery was enlarged to take bodies being found during the late 1920s and early 1930s. Captain Arthur Kilby VC was found on the Loos battlefield, and reburied in Arras Road Cemetery, his name was taken off the Loos Memorial to the Missing. Most of the graves in Arras Road Cemetery are unknowns, and includes men of the Anson and Hood battalions. In the mid-193os even this cemetery was becoming full, so Canadian No. 2 Cemetery on Vimy Ridge was enlarged and became the new open cemetery, not only for the Arras area, but even from the Somme area. In grave XIII.C.3 is an unknown company sergeant major of the RMLI found at Gavrelle.

 

During the early 1960s Canadian No.2 was almost full, and bodies still being found were taken to Terlincthun Cemetery near Boulogne.

 

Here is what the CWGC has to say about the cemetery, to which I will add the trench map coordinates (TMC) for the cemeteries reported concentrated here, as well as the other large recovery areas from the battlefields. Many of the cases of the unknowns from this cemetery already appear here on the GWF (this is the search result). The TMC will be added from the DAL (there were none!) and the COG-BR data.

 

There is no apparent reason that they appear to list some of the locations on the CWGC page and not others? In addition, I cannot explain why none of these cemeteries were listed on the DAL (David Avery List). All were eventually found on the COG-BR documents.

 

Quote

Roclincourt was just within the British lines before the Battles of Arras, 1917; the 51st (Highland) and 34th Divisions advanced from the village on the 9th April, 1917, and the 1st Canadian Division attacked on their left, across the Lens road. Arras Road Cemetery was begun by the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade soon after the 9th April, 1917, and until the Armistice it contained only the graves (now at the back of the cemetery) of 71 officers and men of the 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion (British Columbia Regiment) who fell in April, May and June, 1917; but in 1926-29, it was enlarged by the addition of 993 graves from a wide area, mainly North and East of Arras. Amongst these were graves from the following burial grounds:-

 

  • BAISIEUX CHURCHYARD (Nord): six, October, 1918.
  • BELLAING CHURCHYARD (Nord): two Canadian, October, 1918.
  • BOURLON COMMUNAL CEMETERY (Pas-de-Calais): one, September, 1916, and one Canadian, September, 1918.
  • COMINES COMMUNAL CEMETERY (Nord): five (including one Canadian), 1914-1917. The permanent GERMAN EXTENSION on the West side contains 2,257 identified and 1,903 unidentified German graves.
  • ECAILLON CHURCHYARD (Nord): one, January, 1919.
  • GIVENCHY-LES-LA BASSEE CHURCHYARD (Pas-de-Calais). Givenchy is associated with (among other episodes) the stand made by the 55th (West Lancashire) Division in April, 1918.
  • MAIRIEUX CHURCHYARD (Nord): one, November, 1918.
  • MOUCHIN CHURCHYARD (Nord): two, October, 1918.
  • PENIN CHURCHYARD (Pas-de-Calais): one, November, 1916.
  • PERONNE-EN-MELANTOIS CHURCHYARD (Nord): four, October, 1918.
  • RUMEGIES CHURCHYARD (Nord): ten, October and November, 1918.
  • SAINGHIN-EN-MELANTOIS CHURCHYARD (Nord): three, March, 1917 - October, 1918.
  • SIN CHURCHYARD, BAISIEUX (Nord): three, April - November, 1918.
  • TINCQUES CHURCHYARD (Pas-de-Calais): one, May, 1916.
  • VENDIN-LE-VIEIL COMMUNAL CEMETERY (Pas-de-Calais): one, September, 1915.
  • WANNEHAIN CHURCHYARD (Nord): two, October and November, 1918.

There are now over 1,000, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. 

 

To be added to the above list will be the predominant battlefield concentrations, such as one of the first reported on the COG-BR documents:

  • COG-BR 1966164: 36.S.27.c.15.95 - Found in a deep ditch on the western side of the YELLOW ROAD (we know this to be just east of Festubert)
    • also to the south COG-BR 1996169 in 36c.A.2.b.80.10
    • referenced on several other sheets
  • COG-BR 1996203 FLEURBAIX CHURCHYARD 36.N.21.d.15.40 - Australians
  • COG-BR 1966250 36a.P.29.a.8.3 cemetery graves we know from the Canadian casualty reports to be at ROBECQ 4 miles northeast of LILLERS
    • 3 Canadian soldiers of the 11th Canadian Railway Troops
  • COG-BR 1966288 44a.A.22.c.90.20 AUCHY-LEZ-LA-BASSEE
  • COG-BR 1966330 OLD MAN'S CORNER 44a.A.3.b.30.50
  • COG-BR 1966367 temporary burial in ST. FLORIS CHURCHYARD 36a.Q.2.c.15.20
  • COG-BR 2229656 trench grave with 12 men at 36.M.26.a.3.3
  • COG-BR 2229761 COG-BR 2229767 and others the passageway of a large dug out with 7 sets or remains 44a.G.4.d.central
Edited by laughton
updating details in stages
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These are cases that I had previously started on the GWF for this cemetery: (if anyone is aware of others, please add to the list)

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