HALFAYA SOLLUM WAR CEMETERY
Pictures used with the permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery is on the main coast
road from Mersa Matruh through to Libya, and is on the east side of Halfaya
Sollum, approximately 12 kilometres from the Egypt/Libya border.
The cemetery is open 07.30 to 14.30, Saturday to
The campaign in the Western Desert was fought
between the Commonwealth forces (with, later, the addition of two brigades of
Free French and one each of Polish and Greek troops) all based in Egypt, and the
Axis forces (German and Italian) based in Libya. The battlefield, across which
the fighting surged back and forth between 1940 and 1942, was the 1,000
kilometres of desert between Alexandria in Egypt and Benghazi in Libya. It was a
campaign of manoeuvre and movement, the objectives being the control of
Mediterranean, the link with the east through the Suez Canal, the Middle East
oil supplies and the supply route to Russia through Persia.
Victoria Cross Recipient
GRAHAM THOMSON LYALL
Rank: Colonel, Service No: 48647, Date of Death: 28/11/1941, Age: 49, Regiment/Service: Royal Army Ordnance Corps, Awards: V C, Grave Reference 19. B. 2., Son of the Revd. Robert Henry Lyall and Agnes Lisette Lyall; husband of Elizabeth Lyall (nee Frew), of Airdrie, Lanarkshire.
Citation: The following details are taken from the Second Supplement to the London Gazette of December, 13th, 1918:-On September 27th, 1918, when the leading company was halted near Boulon Wood by an enemy strong point Lt. G. T. Lyall executed a flank movement with his platoon and captured it together with prisoners and its guns. Later that day his much weakened platoon was held up by machine guns at the southern end of the wood. Lt. Lyall led forward his few remaining men, then rushed the position single-handed, killing the officer in charge, and took it with its machine guns, capturing numerous prisoners. Advancing, he secured his final objective and still more prisoners. On October 1st, near Blecourt, by skilful disposition of the weak company he then commanded, he overcame another strongly held position, seizing numerous guns and many prisoners. In these two days Lt. Lyall captured 3 officers, 182 other ranks, 26 machine guns and 1 field gun, and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy. He showed throughout most conspicuous bravery, high powers of command, and skilful leadership.