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Remembered Today:

Lincolnshire Reg.10th Battalion


Guest John Orfei
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Guest John Orfei

I read an acticle about graves being found in northern - France between the towns of Saint-Laurent-Blangy and Athies. The site dating back to World War 1.The style of burial was in a large rectangular pit, wide enough to fit the bodies( twenty soldiers) each body was laid out alongside the next, their arms slighty bent so as to overlap (interlinked) in a sign of comradeship.

Within the grave site were found decaying badges of the Lincolnshire Reg. 10th Battalion. The article stated that the troops were killed during the Arras Offensive of 1917. Will the troops be removed and placed into a military cemetery(to be cared for) or remain at this burial site.

To think of the friendship and care that the burial party took to lay their friends and acquaintances to rest in this great conflict is very touching indeed.

I wonder if any of these Troopers have been identify ?

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John

The men are buried in the Point -Du- Jour Military Cemetery. From memory I think only one man was postively identified as being from 10th Lincs, 34th Division. I believe the location of the mass grave was in the 9th Division area which is not surprising as the Lincolns drifted to the right during the final assault phase which was carried out during a snow storm.

My grandfather, Pte Tom Reeves, was wounded during this attack serving with the 10th Lincolns although he was not an original "Grimsby Chum", having been transferred from 1/8th Worcester in October the previous year after being badly gassed by phosgene on the Somme.

Terry Reeves

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Guest J.Woodward

John and Terry,

I have been researching just this incident for a dissertation and have just returned from visiting the area. The grave was found at the site of a future B.M.W factory just to the north of the main Arras-Douai road (the factory has since been abandoned) and was excavated by the Arras Archaological Service. The grave was still just within the 101st Brigade (15th, 16th Royal Scots, 10 Lincolns and 11th Suffolks) 34th Division boundry for the 9th April attacks, the opening day of the Battle of Arras, and as 4 sets of Lincolnshire shoulder tags were found the media jumped to the conclusion that this was a mass grave from the 10th Battalion, the Grimsby Chums from the 9th April 1917 . Terry is quite right in saying that the Lincolns had drifted to the right during the attack and the area in which the grave was found (roughly on the heavily fortified Jemmy/Jumble line) was meant to have been occupied by the 15th Royal Scots, who only moved to their correct place in the line on the 11th of April. As the Lincolns were relieved by the 11th Suffolks (also of 101st Brigade) on the night of the 13th of April and the entire 101st Bg by the Hawke Battalion of the R.N.D (indeed remains of R.N.D soldiers were found neraby) on the 14th without the line changing there was a wide variety of units serving in very small area. The CWGC therefore felt that it was unable to bury all of the men under Lincolns headstones, only the four who still had shoulder tags are thus buried, the remainder are all buried under unknown soldier headstones. The bodies were removed to the Pont-du-Jour cemetary just a few hundred feet south of their original grave. If anyone would like any more information or scans of photos and so on please don't hesitate to ask,

Joe

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