BEERSHEBA WAR CEMETERY

 

 

 

 

Israel and Palestine (including Gaza)

 

 

 

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Pictures used with the permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

 

Location Information

Beersheba is a southern town on the edge of the Negev Desert, 75 kilometres south-west of Jerusalem.

The Cemetery is situated on the south-west of Beersheba town. On arrival in the town via route 40, continue on until you reach a large junction with a shopping complex on your left. Turn right onto road No. 25, sign-posted Hazerim. Follow this road for 2 kilometres, turning left at the traffic lights opposite the high rise blocks, sign-posted Hazerim. The cemetery will be found on the left.

Owing to the one way road system, you must do a complete tour to reach the entrance so continue and turn left at the next set of traffic lights. Then take the next left onto Harzfeld Street. At the end of this street, turn left and the cemetery entrance is on your left.

Visiting Information

Wheelchair access to the cemetery is possible via the main entrance. For further information regarding wheelchair access, please contact our Enquiries Section on telephone number 01628 507200.

Historical Information

By October 1917, General Allenby's force had been entrenched in front of a strong Turkish position along the Gaza-Beersheba road for some months, but they were now ready to launch an attack with Beersheba as its first objective. On 31 October, the attack was carried out by the XXth Corps (10th, 53rd, 60th and 74th Divisions) on the west, and the Desert Mounted Corps on the east. That evening the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade charged over the Turkish trenches into the town.

The cemetery was made immediately on the fall of the town, remaining in use until July 1918, by which time 139 burials had been made It was greatly increased after the Armistice when burials were brought in from a number of scattered sites and small burial grounds.

The cemetery now contains 1,241 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 67 of them unidentified.

 

Victoria Cross Recipients

 

ALEXANDER MALINS LAFONE

Rank: Major, Date of Death: 27/10/1917, Age: 47, Regiment/Service: Middlesex Hussars, Awards: V C, Grave Reference Q. 7., Son of Henry and Lucy Lafone, of Court Lodge, Knockholt, Kent.

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette" (No. 30433), dated 14th Dec., 1917, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery, leadership, and self-sacrifice when holding a position for over seven hours against vastly superior enemy forces. All this time the enemy were shelling his position heavily, making it very difficult to see. In one attack, when the enemy cavalry charged his flank, he drove them back with heavy losses. In another charge they left fifteen casualties within twenty yards of his trench, one man, who reached the trench, being bayonetted by Major Lafone himself. When all his men, with the exception of three, had been hit and the trench which he was holding was so full of wounded that it was difficult to move and fire, he ordered those who could walk to move to a trench slightly in the rear, and from his own position maintained a most heroic resistance. When finally surrounded and charged by the enemy, he stepped into the open and continued to fight until he was mortally wounded and fell unconscious. His cheerfulness and courage were a splendid inspiration to his men, and by his leadership and devotion he was enabled to maintain his position, which he had been ordered to hold at all costs.

 

ALEXANDER MALINS LAFONE

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel, Date of Death: 01/11/1917, Age: 42, Regiment/Service: Australian Light Horse 8th , Awards: V C, D S O, V D, Grave Reference Q. 82.,Son of the late Edwin Wills Maygar and Helen Maygar. Native of Dean Station, Kilmore, Victoria, Australia.

Citation: An extract from the "London Gazette," dated 11th Feb., 1902, records the following:- "At Geelhoutboom, on the 23rd November 1901, Lieutenant Maygar galloped out and ordered the men of a detached post, which was being outflanked, to retire. The horse of one of them being shot under him, when the enemy were within 200 yards, Lieutenant Maygar dismounted and lifted him on to his own horse, which bolted into boggy ground, causing both of them to dismount. On extricating the horse and finding that it could not carry both, Lieutenant Maygar again put the man on its back and told him to gallop for cover at once, he himself proceeding on foot. All this took place under a very heavy fire."

 

JOHN FOX RUSSELL

Rank: Captain, Date of Death: 06/11/1917, Age: 24, Regiment/Service: Royal Army Medical Corps attd. 1st/6th Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers, Awards: V C, M C, Grave Reference F. 31.,Son of William Fox Russell and Ethel Maria Fox Russell, of 5, Victoria Terrace, Holyhead.

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette" (No. 30491), dated 8th Jan., 1918. records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery displayed in action until he was killed. Capt. Russell repeatedly went out to attend the wounded under murderous fire from snipers and machine guns, and, in many cases where no other means were at hand, carried them in himself although almost exhausted. He showed the highest possible degree of valour."

 

 

37111 Private

J. H. Bolsom

12th Bn. Somerset Light Infantry

6th November 1917.

Plot L. 77.

 

 

2358 Trooper

John Richard McDonald

3rd (Australian) Bn. Imperial Camel Corps (Australian)

07/11/1917, aged 20.

Plot B. 25.

 

Son of Arthur Alexander and Mary Ann Sara McDonald, of Cuan, Bunnan, New South Wales. Native of Scone, New South Wales.

 

Picture courtesy of Harry Willey

 

 

 

700284 Gunner

Albert Sherlock

74th Div. Ammunition Col.

Royal Field Artillery

6th November 1917, aged 24.

Plot P.78.

 

Son of Robert and Susey Ellen Sherlock, of 98, Healey Wood Rd., Springhill, Burnley, Lancashire.

 

 

Lieutenant Colonel

Algernon Carteret Thynne D.S.O.

Royal North Devon Hussars

6th November 1917, aged 49.

Plot L. 60.

 

Son of the late Francis John Thynne, of Haynes Park, Beds; husband of Constance Thynne, of Penstowe, Bude, Cornwall. served in the South African war.

 

Memorial to Lieutenant Thynne

 

 

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