CONTALMAISON CHATEAU CEMETERY

Contalmaison

Somme

France

 

 

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General Directions: Contalmaison is a village about 6 kilometres north-east of the town of Albert and south of the main road from Albert to Bapaume. The Cemetery is on the northern side of the village.

The village was reached on the 1st July, 1916, by small parties of the 34th Division. It was stormed by the 23rd Division on the 7th July, and some men of the Northumberland Fusiliers taken four days earlier were released; but it was lost the same afternoon. It was not finally captured until the 8th and 9th Yorkshire Regiment cleared it on the 10th. However, it was lost again in March, 1918, and recaptured by the 38th (Welsh) Division on the evening of the following 24th August. The underground fortifications made by the enemy before 1916 played an important part in the defence of the village. The cemetery was begun by fighting units on the evening of the 14th July, 1916, and used from September, 1916 to March, 1917 by Field Ambulances. A few burials were made in Plot I, Rows B and C, in August and September, 1918. Graves were added after the Armistice by concentrations from the battlefields of the Somme and the Ancre. 18 German graves and one French were removed to other burial grounds.

 

Victoria Cross:

Private William Henry Short, VC, 8th Bn. Yorkshire Regiment, died of wounds 07/08/1916, aged 31 years, plot II. B. 16., Son of James and Anne Short, of 35, Vaughan St., Grangetown, Yorks. Born at Eston, Yorks.

This British steel helmet is believed to have been worn by Private William Short, VC.

IWM (UNI 11312)

 

CitationAn extract from "The London Gazette," No. 29740, dated 8th Sept., 1916, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery. He was foremost in the attack, bombing the enemy with great gallantry, when he was severely wounded in the foot. He was urged to go back, but refused and continued to throw bombs. Later his leg was shattered by a shell, and he was unable to stand, so he lay in the trench adjusting detonators and straightening the pins of bombs for his comrades. He died before he could be carried out of the trench. For the last eleven months he had always volunteered for dangerous enterprises, and has always set a magnificent example of bravery and devotion to duty."

Casualty Details: UK 264, Canada 4, Australia 21, Total burials: 289

61038 Private

Roger Feeley

14th Bn. Welsh Regiment

28/08/1918, aged 19.

Son of Mr and Mrs Feeley, 10 Thursfield Road, Burnley.

Plot I. B. 37.

 

Roger enlisted on March 5th, 1917, prior to this he was employed at the Burnley Corporation Gas works as a labourer.

 

 

1722 Private

Samuel Leslie

19th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

09/02/1917, aged 36.

Son of Joseph and Eliza Jane Leslie, of Tullintrain, Co. Derry, Ireland.

Plot I. B. 27.

 

16820 Private

Albert Bridge

10th Bn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

09/08/1916, aged 22.

Son of Mr and Mrs Bridge, 8 Fielding Street, Burnley

Plot II. A. 28.

Prior to enlisting, Albert worked as a weaver at the Wood Top Mill Co., Burnley

 

Contalmaison, France. c. 1917. British Army medical orderlies carrying a wounded soldier on a stretcher back from an advanced dressing station which is marked on a tree in the background.

 

The ruins of Contalmaison Chateau, 2 September 1917.

IWM (Q 2792)

 

The Chateau, pre-war

 

The ruins of Contalmaison Chateau, War graves in the foreground, which were tended and supplied with flowers by the French inhabitants; 2nd September 1917.

IWM (Q 2793)

 

Number of burials by unit - Collated by Barry Cuttell

Royal Field Artillery
23
  Australian burials
21
Royal Army Medical Corps
15
  Cameron Highlanders
14
Gordon Highlanders
10
  Northamptonshire Regiment
10
Northumberland Fusiliers
10
  Welsh Regiment
10
Cameronians - Scottish Rifles
9
  Highland Light Infantry
9
Royal Scots - Lothian Regiment
9
  Durham Light Infantry
8
Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders
7
  Gloucestershire Regiment
7
Black Watch
6
  King's Own Scottish Borderers
6
Royal Engineers
6
  Royal Garrison Artillery
6
Royal Scots Fusiliers
6
  Machine Gun Corps
5
Royal Welsh Fusiliers
5
  South Welsh Borderers
4
York & Lancaster Regiment
4
  Canadian burials
3
Duke of Wellington - West Riding Regiment
3
  Green Howards - Yorkshire Regiment
3
Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
3
  Royal Warwickshire Regiment
3
Royal Army Service Corps
2
  Royal Irish Rifles
2
Seaforth Highlanders
2
  West Yorkshire Regiment
2
6th Dragoon Guards
1
  Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry
1
King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
1
  London Regiment - 14th Bn. London Scottish
1
Middlesex Regiment
1
  Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment
1
Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
1
  Royal Berkshire Regiment
1
Royal Sussex Regiment
1
  South Staffordshire Regiment
1
Worcestershire Regiment
1
     
Identified burials
244
     
Unidentified UK burials:
44
     
Unidentified Canadian burials:
1
     
Wholly Unidentified
3
     
Total Unidentified
48
     
Total burials
292
   

 

Those with Awards buried within this cemetery - Collated by Barry Cuttell

L/Cpl. A. English D.C.M., 24th (Tyneside Irish) Bn. Northumberland Fusiliers. Died 4th Sept. 1916. II. B. 4.

Cpl. C. How M.M., "A" Bty. 72nd Brig. Royal Field Artillery, died 1st Dec. 1916 aged 24. I. D. 14.

Pte. J. Johnson M.M., 8th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders. Died 17th Oct. 1916. I. C. 7.

Capt. Arthur Lloyd Jones M.C., 14th Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Died 3rd Sept. 1918 aged 35. I. C. 29.

Cpl. J. Mackay D.C.M., 6th/7th Bn. Royal Scots Fusiliers. Died 10th Aug. 1916. II. A. 29.

L/Cpl. S. Roper D.C.M., 1st/7th Bn. Worcestershire Regiment. Died 13th Nov. 1916. I. C. 20.

 

 

 

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