Pas de Calais




General Directions: Terlincthun British Cemetery is situated on the northern outskirts of Boulogne. From Calais follow the A16 to Boulogne, come off at Junction 3 and follow the D96E for Wimereux Sud. Continue on this road for approximately 1 kilometre when the Cemetery will be found on the left hand side of the road. However, it should be noted that the entrance to the cemetery is in St Martin's Road, which is the road on the left immediately after the cemetery.

The first rest camps for Commonwealth forces were established near Terlincthun in August 1914 and during the whole of the First World War, Boulogne and Wimereux housed numerous hospitals and other medical establishments.

The cemetery at Terlincthun was begun in June 1918 when the space available for service burials in the civil cemeteries of Boulogne and Wimereux was exhausted. It was used chiefly for burials from the base hospitals, but Plot IV Row C contains the graves of 46 RAF personnel killed at Marquise in September 1918 in a bombing raid by German aircraft.

In July 1920, the cemetery contained more than 3,300 burials, but for many years Terlincthun remained an 'open' cemetery and graves continued to be brought into it from isolated sites and other burials grounds throughout France where maintenance could not be assured.

During the Second World War, there was heavy fighting in the area in 1940. Wimille was devastated when, from 22 - 25 May, the garrison at Boulogne fought a spirited delaying action covering the withdrawal to Dunkirk. There was some fighting in Wimille again in 1944. The cemetery suffered considerable damage both from the shelling in 1940 and during the German occupation.

The cemetery now contains 4,378 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and more than 200 war graves of other nationalities, most of them German. Second World War burials number 149.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

Shot at Dawn: Second Lieutenant John H. Paterson, 3rd Bn. Essex Regiment, attached 1st Bn. Executed for murder 24/09/1918. Plot IV. B. 48.

The mass pardon of 306 British Empire 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 3859, Canada 326, Australia 114, New Zealand 32, South Africa 42, India 4, Germany 192,

Serbia 3, Russia 4, U.S.A. 3, Poland 1, Total Burials: 4580


Those with awards buried within this cemetery:


BANKS, Lt. H. M.C. 102nd Bn. Canadian Inf. (Central Ontario Regt.). Died 17th October 1918.  5. F. 36.


WAKE, Maj. H. St. A. M.V.O. 2nd Bn. 8th Ghurka Rifles. Died 30th October 1914. VII. A. 8.

This information collated by Barry Cuttell






Doing their Bit - The Voluntary Aid Detachment


by Janine Lawrence

Over the centuries the history of our country has been littered with governmental mistakes and mishaps. How refreshing then, that in 1908 the new Secretary of State for War, Lord Haldane, undertook reforms in the army which were to have far-reaching effects.

He established a new part-time army of volunteers who were fully-trained soldiers in full-time jobs and who were organised on a county system. This Territorial Force became jokingly known as the 'Saturday Night Soldiers' as the young men who joined were taught to shoulder arms at weekly meetings and drills. They even attended summer camp and many 'Terriers' were at camp when war was declared in August 1914.

In 1909, with unbelievable foresight, the War Office issued a 'Scheme for the Organisation of Voluntary Aid in England and Wales' which recognised the need to provide sufficient medical backup to supplement the Territorial Force in the event of war. Ultimate efficiency would not be realised unless all voluntary aid was co-ordinated and the Territorial Associations were directed to entrust the work to the British Red Cross which had also adopted the county system of organisation. They joined up with the Order of St John of Jerusalem and thus, the organisation known as the Voluntary Aid Detachment was born.

Detachments were divided into those for men and those for women. Men's detachments numbered 56 lead by a commandant and comprising a medical officer, a quartermaster, a pharmacist and four section leaders each responsible for 12 men. They were usually responsible for transport and converting suitable buildings into hospitals and clearing stations and would also act as stretcher-bearers and male nurses if required. After enrolment the men studied first aid and were lectured in the various duties connected with transport and camps.

The women's detachments were less than half the strength of the men. They were also led by a commandant, who could either be male or female and not necessarily a doctor, a quartermaster, a trained nurse as a lady superintendent and 20 women of whom four had to be qualified cooks. It was felt the women's detachments would be better served to the 'less arduous' task of forming railway rest stations where they could prepare and serve meals for sick and wounded soldiers. It was obvious they were seen more as domestic assistants than nurses! However, they were given lectures in first aid, home nursing, hygiene and cookery and were occasionally given training in infirmaries. They were taught to identify suitable buildings for use as temporary hospitals and how to obtain equipment and supplies.

Within a year membership numbered somewhere around 6000 with over 2,500 detachments. These numbers increased considerably after the outbreak of war in 1914 and numbers rose to over 74,000, two-thirds of whom were women and girls.

As men were called away to answer their country's call it fell upon the women to fill their shoes in whatever way they could. Initially it was mostly middle-class women who were eager to 'do their bit' and they took on roles such as ambulance drivers, welfare officers, fundraisers, civil defence workers and even letter writers for the illiterate. It is interesting to note that the novelist, Agatha Christie was a VAD and worked in a hospital pharmacy where she learned about poisons!

The military authorities were reluctant at this early stage to accept VADs on the front line, perhaps thinking that the battlefield was no place for a woman. However, this restriction was lifted in 1915 and women volunteers over the age of twenty three and with more than three months experience were allowed to go to the Western Front, Gallipoli and Mesopotamia. Eventually VAD's were also sent to the Eastern Front.

Before the outbreak of war some VADs had taken short nursing courses for which they were awarded certificates. Qualified nurses had undertaken three years training and were understandably suspicious of these short courses, referring to the volunteers as 'ignorant amateurs'. Quarrels broke out and there are even reports of open conflict before the new spirit of unity in time of war was felt and working together for mutual benefit was the order of the day.

The VAD's became very active in the war effort using influence to transport themselves to the conflicts in France to care for the sick and wounded and thus carving out for themselves a clear role as nurses or orderlies in hospitals at home and in the theatres of war. By 1916 their numbers had increased to 80,000.

In 1917 clear regulations were laid down by the British Red Cross which governed the employment of nursing VAD's in military hospitals. Age limits were specified and volunteers should be between 21 and 48 years of age for home service and 23 and 42 for foreign. They were to be appointed for one month on probation during which time they were assessed for suitability by the matron. They then had to sign an agreement to serve for six months or the duration of the war, at home or abroad. Salary would be £20 per annum rising to £22.10.0 for those who signed on for another six months at the end of their current contract. Increments of a further £2.10.0 would be paid every six months until probationers reached the maximum of £30 per annum.

It was also laid down that VAD's should work under fully trained nurses with duties including sweeping, dusting, polishing, cleaning, washing patients' crockery, sorting linen and any nursing duties allotted by the matron.

Meanwhile, VAD hospitals were being set up in Blighty and were mostly located in large houses loaned for the purpose by their owners. Gustard Wood at Wheathampstead and The Bury at King's Walden are just two Hertfordshire premises used. The Council School in Royston and the former mental hospital, Napsbury in Colney Heath are examples of institutes put into service.

These hospitals received the sum of three shillings per day per patient from the War Office and were expected to raise additional funds themselves. As everyone was keen to be seen to help the war effort this was not difficult and local newspapers regularly featured lists of donations received - obviously anonymity did not seem to be the case!

Many women returning home after the conflict ended undertook formal nurse training and registration with the General Nursing Council. Others tried to pick up the threads of their former lives. What must be certain is that life could never have been the same for any of them again. The sight, smell and fear of war must have been imprinted on every mind bringing about a change in the lives of women which would grow and grow over the following years.

Our thanks to Janine Lawrence for permission to use this article

© Janine Lawrence

Interior of Ambulance Train at Boulogne

© IWM (Q 14760)


Canadian V.A.D, staff of the Canadian Rest House for nursing sisters passing through Boulogne. 29 July 1918.

© IWM (Q 9140)




135187 Driver

Luther Hudson

"A" Battery, 11th Bde.

Royal Field Artillery

Died of Pneumonia 29/11/1918, aged 25.

Husband of Winifred Hudson, of 821, Manchester Rd., Bradford, Yorks.

Plot XII. A. 4.

Pictures courtesy of Raymond Hudson, grandson of this soldier






203205 Corporal

Victor Albert Brown

1st/5th Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment

16/10/1918, aged 21

Son of Joseph Rose Brown and Elizabeth Brown, of 77, North Rd., Wolverhampton.

Plot V. F. 4.


His brother Pte Joseph George Brown 36182 was also KIA on April 10th 1918, aged 19, whilst serving in the 4th South Staffs, remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial Panel 6.


Picture courtesy of Dave Shaw



85631 Driver

Mallord Nobell Robinson

Royal Field Artillery

17/04/1919, aged 22.

Son of Edward Gale and Sarah Robinson of Weston-on-Trent, Derbyshire

Plot XIV. A. 30.




Pictures courtesy of great niece, Pamela Marsden


15860 Private

Andrew Magrath

11th Bn. East Lancashire Regiment

21/11/1918, aged 24.

He was a drummer and sniper; born Wigan, son of Joseph and Ellen Magrath; lived at Chorley;

 enlisted 22nd September 1914; died of pneumonia following a chill caught while celebrating the end of the war

Plot XI. C. 26


A/4112 Sapper

Harold Hawkin

3rd Tunnelling Coy.

Canadian Engineers

18/06/1918, aged 32.

Son of John Horsley and Anne Hawkin, of York; husband of Millicent Hawkin, of 4, Langdale Rd., Scarborough.

Plot I. A. 33.

 Also commemorated on the St Paulís Church War Memorial, Holgate and in The Kingís Book. His medals are held by the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and appear on their website. 



Harold Hawkin died on June 18th, 1918 of Erysipelas,** he married my great aunt Millie (nee Beastall) during the war. Millie related the story that Harold had been badly gassed earlier but had been sent back into action before he had enough time to fully recover. She blamed his subsequent death on his poor health and his body's inability to fight off the infection that took his life.

The above image shows Harold with his wife, Millie


**Erysipelas is a type of skin infection usually caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. The bacteria may travel to the blood in some cases. This results in a condition called bacteremia. The infection may spread to the heart valves, joints, and bones. Erysipelas is now a treatable disease.


Pictures courtesy of great nephew, Brian Milthorp


6907 Private

James Thomas Turner

24th Bn, Australian Infantry,

A. I. F.

11/06/1918, aged 19.


For more information and images follow this link -  Private James Thomas Turner 


His Story is as follows:

James Thomas Turner was born Ararat, Victoria, Australia in March 1899 to William and Priscilla Turner. He had 3 brothers and 4 sisters and would have been 15 years old when Australia entered the World War 1 alongside the British Empire.

3 years into the War, in August 1917 he was a young, 18 year old, single labourer and decided to volunteer to join the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) as a Private. He was slightly built weighing only 67kg and 5ft 9in in height.

On the 6th September his parents William and Priscilla consented to James enlisting, but did not want him seeing active service until he turned 19 in the March of 1918.

Then 2 months later on the 22nd November 1917 James embarked on the HMAS Nestor out of Melbourne with the 20th Reinforcement of the 24th Battalion bound for England.

On the 24th January, James arrived at the medium-sized village in southwest Wiltshire, England called Fovant where he stayed at the Army Training Camp for just over 3 months.

On the 5th May James moved by train onto the English town of Folkestone in Kent. Two days later he moved to the Allied military camp, Etaples in France.

From March the 24th Battalion was fighting as part of The German Spring Offensive on the Western Front in France with Operation Michael. We believe that James would have joined his Unit on the 9th May.

On the 1st June he was wounded in action (Gassed) and went by Ambulance Train to the No. 7 Stationary Hospital, Boulogne. After 7 days in hospital, James passed away on the 11th June 1918 at age 19. He was buried at the Terlincthun British Cemetery on the 23rd June. Reference I. A. 3.

Picture and information courtesy of  Noel Joseph Turner Werribee, Victoria, Australia



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