BOUZINCOURT RIDGE CEMETERY

Albert

Somme

France

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Bouzincourt is a village 3 kilometres north-west of Albert on the D938 road to Doullens. The Cemetery is east of the village.

In the centre of Bouzincourt take the direction for Aveluy (D20) and the Cemetery is signposted. Approximately 1.5 kilometres along the D20 road there is a track leading to the cemetery, which is approximately 500 metres along this track

Bouzincourt remained partly in German hands after the battles of March 1918. The eastern end of the village was attacked by the 12th and 18th Divisions at the end of June 1918, and cleared in the latter half of August. In the first week of September, Plot I of Bouzincourt Ridge Cemetery was made by the V Corps Burial Officer, who cleared the battlefields and the remaining Plots were formed after the Armistice when 500 graves were brought in from the immediate neighbourhood.

The cemetery now contains 709 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 313 of the burials are are unidentified and there is a special memorial to an officer of the 38th Division known to be buried in one of them.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Casualty Details: UK 668, Canada 6, Australia 35, Total Burials: 709

     

 

Victoria Cross: Lieutenant Colonel John Stanhope Collings-Wells, VC, DSO.,

4th Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment, killed in action 27/03/1918, Plot III. E. 12., Son of Arthur and Caroline Mary Collings-Wells, of Brand's House, Hughenden, High Wycombe, Bucks.

 

 

Citation: An extract from The London Gazette, dated 23rd April, 1918, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery, skilful leading and handling of his battalion in very critical situations during a withdrawal. When the rearguard was almost surrounded and in great danger of being captured, Lieutenant Colonel Collings-Wells, realising the situation, called for volunteers to remain behind and hold up the enemy whilst the remainder of the rearguard withdrew, and with his small body of volunteers held them up for one and half hours until they had expended every round of ammunition. During this time he moved freely amongst his men guiding and encouraging them, and by his great courage undoubtedly saved the situation. On a subsequent occasion, when his battalion was ordered to carry out a counter-attack, he showed the greatest bravery. Knowing that his men were extremely tired after six days' fighting, he placed himself in front and led the attack, and even when twice wounded refused to leave them but continued to lead and encourage his men until he was killed at the moment of gaining their objective. The successful results of the operations were, without doubt, due to the undaunted courage exhibited by this officer."

 

 

 

 

 

 

70159 Private

James Edmundson

21st Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers

21/08/1918, aged 34.

Son of Mr & Mrs Edmundson, Britannia Inn, Guy Street, Padiham, Lancashire.

Lived at Harle Syke, Burnley with his wife and two children.

Plot II. Q. 17.

 

Enlisted in June 1916, prior to this he had been working as a weaver at Thornton and Co's. Mill, Harle Syke, Burnley. He initially joined the East Lancashire Regiment but after being invalided home with septic poisoning he went back out with the Cheshire Regiment, whilst with the Cheshires he was injured by shrapnel and sent home, he then was transferred to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

 

 

 

201800 Private

William Henry Threlfall

2nd Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers

24/08/1918, aged 29.

Husband of Minnie Threlfall, of 19, King's Terrace, Burnley.

Plot II. Q. 15.

 

William enlisted on May 17th, 1916 having previously worked as a weaver for Messrs. Whitehead and Leaver. He had been overseas since June 13th, 1917. His wife, Minnie received news of his death from one of his friends in the battalion;

 

"He was on a night stunt, and when they called the roll next morning he was not there. I and a lad from Waterfoot could not rest, so we went over the ground to look for him, and found him, to our sorrow, dead."

 

 

German Offensive. Prisoners and British infantrymen resting on the roadside in Bouzincourt, 26 March 1918.

IWM (Q 8634)

 

 

German Offensive. Road scene at Bouzincourt, 26 March 1918.

IWM (Q 8637)

 

42147 Private

Walter Dean Heathcote

9th Bn. Essex Regiment

05/04/1918

Plot II. P. 11

 

Pte. Heathcote was killed near Senlis Mill on  5th April 1918 and was buried at Bouzincourt Ridge Cemetery. This information is provided by his niece who did not know her uncle but well remembers the on-going grief suffered by her mother (Mrs M. Stapleton) - sister of Pte. Heathcote. Walter and his sister were born and lived in Brighton, Sussex. His name is recorded on the Steine war memorial in Brighton.

 

Picture courtesy of niece, Rosemary Tracey

 

 

Captain

Daniel McCallum

51st Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

03/09/1916, aged 23.

Son of Daniel and Annie L. McCallum, of Trayning, Western Australia. Born at Bendigo, Victoria.

Plot III. F. 4.

 

Killed in action on 3 September 1916 during an attack on the enemy at Mouquet Farm in the Pozieres Area.

 

Private 4469

Thomas Richard Carroll

52nd Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

04/09/1916, aged 23.

Son of Thomas John and the late Frances Carroll. Born at Irish Town, Australia.

Plot I. G. 3.

 

Pte Carroll enlisted on 9 October 1915 and embarked aboard HMAT Warilda on 8 February 1916. On 4 September 1916 he was killed in action at Mouquet Farm in the Pozieres area of France, while serving with the 52nd Battalion. His brother, 4469 Thomas Richard Carroll, 12th and later the 52nd Battalion, was also killed in action at Mouquet Farm on 4 September 1916.

 

Picture on left courtesy of Patrick Lernout

 

Captain

Ralph Ratnevelo Raymond Ekin-Smyth

52nd Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

03/09/1916, aged 41.

Son of Thomas G. and Mary J. Ekin Smyth; husband of Hilda M. Ekin Smyth, of Ranelagh St., Woodville Park, South Australia. Born in London, England.

Plot III. G. 8.

Served in the Garrison Artillery, Infantry and Instructional Corps in South Australia for a total of 24 years in Citizen Forces before his service in France with the 52nd Battalion.

 

785 Private

Victor Andrew Anderson

21st Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

26/08/1916, aged 22.

Son of Jorgen Anderson, of Boundary Rd., Mordialloc, Victoria, Australia.

Born at Melbourne.

Plot I. B. 2.

Pte Anderson enlisted on 27 March 1915 and was killed in action on 26 August 1916 at Albert in France.