AVAL WOOD MILITARY CEMETERY
General Directions: Vieux-Berquin is a village 8 kilometres south-west of Bailleul and a similar distance south-east of Hazebrouck. Leave the village on the 947 heading for Neuf-Berquin/Estaires. Turn right 800 metres from the centre of the village on the Rue Merville. Continue for 700 metres to the junction and take the right hand fork towards Caudescure on the D69. The Cemetery is another 1.5 kilometres along this road on the right hand side.
The Battle of Hazebrouck (one of the Battles of the Lys), including the Defence of Nieppe Forest, lasted from 12 to 15 April 1918. The line east of Nieppe Forest was defended against overwhelming forces by the 29th and 31st Divisions, the latter including the 4th Guards Brigade. Although Vieux-Berquin village was lost on 13 April, the rest of the line was held until the 1st Australian Division had detrained and arrived on the field. The cemetery was made in June and August 1918, largely by the 11th Battalions of the East Yorkshire and East Lancashire Regiments, but Plot I was completed, and Plots II and III added after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields of Vieux-Berquin and Merville.
Casualty Details: UK 408, Australia 3, Germany 1, Total Burials: 412
1st Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers
Plot I. AA. 4.
My great uncle, Samuel Millar was the son of William John Millar and Rachel Millar, both born in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Samuel was one of five children. He had two elder brothers Robert (my grandfather) and Thomas, a younger brother James and a sister Agnes,
Sam was born in Liverpool on 26 October 1888. He enlisted with the Lancashire Fusiliers, 1st Bn.
Samuel was killed in action on 20 April 1918. He is buried at Aval Wood Military Cemetery, Vieux-Berquin, France.
Another Great Hero.
Image courtesy of great niece, Julie Owen