Couin is a
village 15 kilometres east of Doullens. Visitors should follow the main
Doullens to Arras road, N25, as far as the crossroads with the D23. Follow
the D23 to Souastre, then the D2 to Couin, as indicated by the CWGC sign.
Couin British Cemetery and Couin New British Cemetery are at the side of the
road just before entering the village.
Couin Chateau was used as a divisional headquarters from 1915 to 1918.
The BRITISH CEMETERY was begun in May 1916 by the field ambulances of
the 48th (South Midland) Division, and was used by units and field
ambulances during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. It was closed at the end
of January 1917 because further extension was not possible, and now contains
401 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and three German graves.
The NEW BRITISH CEMETERY was opened across the road and was used by
field ambulances from January 1917 (with a long interval in 1917-18) to the
end of the war. One grave was moved there after the Armistice from a
cemetery at Coigneux. It now contains 360 Commonwealth burials of the First
World War and two German war graves.
Both cemeteries were designed by
Sir Reginald Blomfield.
Serjeant Dickson Cornelius
(Richard Charles Travis) VC, DCM, MM, Twice mentioned in Despatches,
2nd Bn. Otago Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, killed in action
25/07/1918 aged 34 years, Row G. 5. (Served as Serjeant Richard Charles
of the late James and Frances Theresa Savage, of Otara, Opotiki, New
Zealand. Known as "Prince of Scouts," and "King of No Man's Land." Also
served in Egypt and Gallipoli. Awarded Croix de Guerre (Belgium).
The last 3 images (above) are courtesy of Michael Broad of Dunedin,
New Zealand. The final image is a commemorative plaque placed at a Dunedin
Victoria Cross was a posthumous award. An extract from the "London Gazette,"
dated 27th Sep., 1918, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery
and devotion to duty. During 'surprise' operations it was necessary to
destroy an impassable wire block. Serjt. Travis, regardless of personal
danger, volunteered for this duty. Before zero hour, in broad daylight and
in close proximity to enemy posts he crawled out and successfully destroyed
the block with bombs, thus enabling the attacking parties to pass through. A
few minutes later a bombing party on the right of the attack was held up by
two enemy machine guns, and the success of the whole operation was in
danger. Perceiving this Serjt. Travis with great gallantry and utter
disregard of danger, rushed the position, killed the crews and captured the
guns. An enemy officer and three men immediately rushed at him from a bend
in the trench and attempted to retake the guns. These four he killed single
handed, thus allowing the bombing party on which much depended to advance.
The success of the operation was almost entirely due to the heroic work of
this gallant N.C.O. and the vigour with which he made and used opportunities
for inflicting casualties on the enemy. He was killed 24 hours later when,
in a most intense bombardment prior to an enemy counter-attack, he was going
from post to post encouraging the men." The D.C.M. was awarded "For
conspicuous gallantry in action. He went out by himself and accounted for
several enemy snipers who were firing at a working party. He has on many
previous occasions done very fine work."
Casualty Details: UK 344, Canada 2, New Zealand 14,
Germany 2, Total Burials: 362
Charles Edward Edmondson
42nd Bn. Machine Gun
02/06/1918, aged 21.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas
Edmondson, 95 Leyland Rd., Burnley. Formerly 50 Milton Street, Burnley.
A weaver at Emmott's,
Row F. 32.
William Edgar Gorman
"A" Coy. 2nd/5th Bn.
18/05/1918, aged 22.
Son of William and Rosa
Jane Gorman, of Rowley House, Burnley. Native of Bristol.
Worked for Burnley
Corporation at Hurstwood reservoir prior to enlisting. He was killed
when a shell dropped into his post, killing him and another man and
wounding three others.
Row E. 27.
James Edward Green
1st/7th Bn. Manchester
02/05/1918, aged 35.
Son of John and Mary Ann
Green, of 23, Hollingreave Rd., Burnley; husband of Ada Green, of 56,
Dall St., Burnley Wood, Burnley.
Row C. 41.