General Directions: St. Omer is a large town 45 kilometres south-east of
Calais. Longuenesse is a commune on the southern outskirts of St. Omer. The
Cemetery is approximately 3 kilometres from St Omer, beside the Wizernes
(Abbeville) road (the D928), at its junction with the Rue des Bruyeres.
There is a large car park to the rear of the cemetery.
St. Omer was the General Headquarters of the British Expeditionary
Force from October 1914 to March 1916. Lord Roberts died there in November
1914. The town was a considerable hospital centre with the 4th, 10th, 7th
Canadian, 9th Canadian and New Zealand Stationary Hospitals, the 7th, 58th
(Scottish) and 59th (Northern) General Hospitals, and the 17th, 18th and 1st
and 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Stations all stationed there at some
time during the war. St. Omer suffered air raids in November 1917 and May
1918, with serious loss of life.
The cemetery takes its names from the triangular cemetery of the St. Omer
garrison, properly called the Souvenir Cemetery (Cimetiere du Souvenir
Francais) which is located next to the War Cemetery.
The Commonwealth section of the cemetery contains 2,874 Commonwealth burials
of the First World War (6 unidentified), with special memorials
commemorating 23 men of the Chinese Labour Corps whose graves could not be
exactly located. Second World War burials number 403, (93 unidentified).
Within the Commonwealth section there are also 34 non-war burials and 239
war graves of other nationalities.
The cemetery was designed by
Sir Herbert Baker
Cross: 3697 Lance Corporal Cecil Reginald Noble, VC.
"C" Company, 2nd Bn. Rifle
Brigade, died of wounds 13/03/1915. Plot I. A. 57.
An extract from the Supplement to the London Gazette of 27th April, 1915
(No. 29146) records the award of the V.C. to this N.C.O. and to C.S.M. H.
Daniels "For most conspicuous bravery on 12th March, 1915, at Neuve-Chapelle,
when their battalion was impeded in the advance to attack by wire
entanglements, and subjected to a very severe machine-gun fire, these two
men voluntarily rushed in front and succeeded in cutting the wires."
Dawn: 7552 Lance Sergeant W. Walton, 2nd Bn. King's Royal Rifle Corps, executed
for desertion 23/03/1915. Plot 1. A. 68.
Private I. Reid, 2nd Bn. Scots
Guards, executed for desertion 09/04/1915. Plot 3. B. 26.
Cuthbert, 9th Bn. Cheshire Regiment, executed for disobedience 06/05/1916. Plot 5. F. 71.
Private E. J. Reynolds, 3rd Bn. Canadian Infantry,
executed for desertion 23/08/1916. Plot 4. A. 39.
Private C. B. Nicholson,
8th Bn. Yorks and Lancs Regiment, executed for desertion 27/10/1917. Plot 4.
The mass pardon of 306
soldiers executed for certain offences during the Great War was enacted in
section 359 of the
Armed Forces Act 2006,
which came into effect on royal assent on 8 November 2006.
Casualty Details: UK 2486, Canada 150, Australia 155,
New Zealand 53, South Africa 24, India 6, Germany 187, France 10, Total Burials:
1st Siege Battery
Royal Garrison Artillery
Died of wounds 19/05/1915
Plot I. A. 25
Image courtesy of Joe O'Raw
and William Kilgour
1st/7th Bn. Duke of Wellington's Regiment.
30/06/1918, aged 17. (Age officially given as
Born Great Yarmouth. Son of James Alfred and Alice
Maud Eastick, of 20, Norfolk Place, Boston.
Plot V. C. 22
Picture courtesy of Glynis Eastick
Alfred W. and Avis A. Sibley, of New Lodge, Warkton, Kettering. Native
of Stamford Hill, Kettering.
Plot II. A.
Picture courtesy of Mrs Sandy Hall, niece of this soldier
Leslie Graham Rowell MC
Australian Infantry, A. I. F.
Robert and Helena M. Rowell, of Victoria St., Warwick, Queensland.
Native of Northumberland, England
Plot IV. F.
Graham Rowell was born at Walbottle House, Northumberland, England. He
enlisted in March 1915 and left for the Front as a member of the 25th
Battalion A. I. F. He played his honoured part as an ANZAC, having
spent four months in the winter campaign on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
He then served with the first Australian divisions in France fighting
on the Western Front where he won his commission in the field.
THE MILITARY CROSS
Ridge on the 20th of September 1917 for conspicuous gallantry and
devotion to duty, when during the advance an enemy Pill-box from which
the enemy were emerging, seemed likely to hold up the advance,
this Officer rushed it single handed. Although his revolver was shot
out of his hand, he engaged them with bombs, killing four and taking
20 prisoners. Later, when his Company Commander was wounded, he took
charge of the Company, eventually carrying out a relief under heavy
shell fire. Throughout his courage and coolness were a fine example to
Picture courtesy of David Backhouse,
great nephew of this officer
Stanley Argyle Gammon
Son of William and Eva L. Gammon, of 90, Divinity Rd., Oxford.
Plot II. A.
Picture courtesy of Wendy Purslow
Son of James
and Alice Ann Toone, of 2, Hoyle Mill Rd., Stairfoot, Barnsley. Native of
Plot IV. F. 12.
Picture courtesy of Jennie Nuttall, his niece.
Royal Scots Fusiliers
Thomas and Jean Gibson, of Blantyre, Glasgow; husband of Jessie Stoddart
Gibson, of 38, Broompark Rd., High Blantyre, Glasgow.
Plot II. A.
Picture courtesy of great, great niece Mandy Larkins
Plot II. A.
Picture courtesy of granddaughter, Brenda Nicolaou
South Staffordshire Regiment
Plot IV. F.
The above photo is a copy
which was sent to his sister who had emigrated to Canada in 1904. She
was my grandmother.
Isaac lived at Pelsall,
Staffordshire and had 12 brothers and sisters. I was lucky enough to
visit the town and the South Staffs Regimental Museum in 2010 where
there is a copy of the war diaries from March 1918. Isaac was mentioned
in the diary by name.
Picture courtesy of great niece, Shirley Runte
King's Own Scottish Borderers
01/11/1918, aged 32.
James Lindsay, of Stewarton, Ayrshire; husband of Ellen Rafferty
Lindsay, of Gateside, Beith, Ayrshire.
"Remembered with honour"
Picture courtesy of grandson, Lindsay Smith
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