Dernancourt is a village 3 kilometres south of Albert. The Communal
Cemetery is a little west of the village, and the Extension is on the
north-west side of the Communal Cemetery.
Field ambulances used the Communal Cemetery for
Commonwealth burials from September 1915 to August 1916, and again during
the German advance of March 1918. It contains 127 Commonwealth burials of
the First World War.
The XV Corps Main Dressing Station was formed at Dernancourt in August 1916,
when the adjoining EXTENSION was opened. The 45th and 56th (1st/1st South
Midland) Casualty Clearing Stations came in September 1916 and remained
until March 1917. The 3rd Australian was here in March and April 1917, and
the 56th from April 1917 to February 1918. The 3rd Casualty Clearing Station
came in March 1918 but on 26 March, Dernancourt was evacuated ahead of the
German advance, and the extension remained in their hands until the village
was recaptured on 9 August 1918 by the 12th Division and the 33rd American
Division. In September it was again used by the 47th, 48th and 55th Casualty
Clearing Stations under the name of "Edgehill", due to the rising ground on
At the Armistice, the Extension contained more than 1,700 burials; it was
then enlarged when graves were brought in from isolated positions in the
immediate neighbourhood and certain small cemeteries, including:-
MOOR CEMETERY, EDGEHILL, DERNANCOURT, was about 800 metres West, near the
top of the hill. It contained the graves of 42 soldiers from the United
Kingdom who fell on the 23rd-25th March, 1918.
ALBERT ROAD CEMETERY, BUIRE-SUR-ANCRE, was nearly 3 Kms West, on the
straight road from Amiens to Albert. It contained the graves of 65 soldiers
from the United Kingdom and 33 from Australia, who fell in April-August,
1918. It was made by Australian units and by the 58th (London) and 12th
The extension now contains 2,162 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of
the First World War. 177 of the burials are unidentified, but there are
special memorials to 29 casualties known or believed to be buried among
them, and to two buried at Albert Road Cemetery, Buire-sur-Ancre whose grave
could not be found on concentration.
The extension was designed by
Sir Edwin Lutyens
George Hartley Goldsmith
Victoria Cross: 358 Serjeant, Thomas James Harris, VC.
MM. 6th Bn. Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 09/08/18. Plot VIII. J. 20. (Extension).
of Tony Grant
An extract from The London Gazette, No. 30967, dated 18th
Oct., 1918, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery and
devotion to duty in attack when the advance was much impeded by hostile
machine guns concealed in crops and shell-holes. Serjt. Harris led his
section against one of these, capturing it and killing seven of the
enemy. Later, on two successive occasions, he attacked single-handed two
enemy machine-guns which were causing heavy casualties and holding up
the advance. He captured the first gun and killed the crew, but was
himself killed when attacking the second one. It was largely due to the
great courage and initiative of this gallant N.C.O. that the advance of
the battalion was continued without delay and undue casualties.
Throughout the operations he showed a total disregard for his own
personal safety, and set a magnificent example to all ranks."
Click here for an
article on Serjt. Harris
Details: UK 1640, Canada 8, Australia 425, New
Zealand 51, South Africa 33, India 5, Germany 2, Total Burials: 2164
22nd Bn. Royal
Son of Julia
Tonge, of Raby Lodge, 35, Oliver Grove, South Norwood, London.
Plot V. B. 24
9th Bn. London
Regiment, (Queen Victoria's Rifles)
Plot VIII. E.
6th Bn. King's
Own Scottish Borderers
Plot X. B. 7.
"Gone but not
Remembered by his nephew Billy Mundell
Son of Edward
and Sarah Winkworth, of 7, Wilbury Gardens, Hove, Sussex.
Plot V. C. 11.
He died of wounds at 45th Casualty
Clearing Station on 18th February 1917 after being wounded by a gunshot
wound to the chest at Boom Ravine on 17th February, possibly by machine-gun
fire whilst crossing Grandcourt Trench.
Henry was born on 7th December
1895 at Brighton, Sussex, the son of Edward Henry Thomas Winkworth, an
auctioneer (b. 1857, Windsor, Berks.),
and Mrs Sarah Jane M. Winkworth (nee Merryweather, b. c-1868, m. 1890 at St.
Giles, London) 7 Wilbury Gardens, Hove.
He was brother to Cecilia Clara Winkworth and John Staverton Winkworth.
Picture courtesy of Liz & Bob Matthews
Royal Berkshire Regiment
Walter Thomas and Alice Mary Guy, of 14, Fentons Avenue, Plaistow, London.
Plot VI. D.
soldier and beloved brother of Milly, Rose, Elsie, Lily and Gertie
Still mourned by his family. He was ours.
of Bob Booker, the son of a CWGC Gardener
My father was a war graves gardener based at Dernancourt during
the late fifties and the early sixties, Dad was almost too young for
WW2. But couldn’t be called up anyway as he was in a reserved occupation
working in a factory on war equipment which he had been doing since
leaving school. He was called up immediately after the war when he was
both old enough, and the reserved occupations ended. He then served in
Malaya during the Malayan campaign. After his national service he never
returned to the factory but went into gardening. As a gardener he
replied to a War Graves advert for gardeners. He was offered a job, and
so we moved from Cornwall to Dernancourt in France in 1959 and we lived
as a family on the other side of the railway bridge from the cemetery
with just one farm house between us and the railway line. We also went
to school in Dernancourt village. The posts which supported a chain link
fence along the length of our back garden at Dernancourt were old
British narrow gauge rails which had been used for moving war supplies
somewhere and after the war had been recycled into fence posts.
As children in the late autumn and winter we used to follow the
furrows after the plough looking for the scrap which was brought to the
surface. In one particular field we would always find cutlery and
kitchen type paraphernalia. On one occasion Dad helped a local farmer to
widen a gateway just past the cemetery. It was a mutual task in that
they needed top soil for levelling some ground in the cemetery. Whilst
doing this they uncovered a listening post which had been buried for the
past forty years. Some time ago I read a book of eye witness accounts
which include one written about two soldiers who made their way to where
the field canteen had been. This was after the German advance and after
the allies had retreated from Dernancourt leaving their supplies behind.
Whilst the Germans were in Dernancourt village they made their way at
night along the side of the railway line up past the listening post to
the remains of the canteen to retrieved what ever supplies they could
find and carry. Of all the eye witness accounts which I used to read
this was the most vivid. I had known the area so well and could follow
accurately every move they made.
I remember once, after heavy rain a small amount of land slipped
away from the railway embankment and a well rotted crate of German stick
grenades slid down and opened it self up on the grass verge just by the
railway bridge. The grenades just lay there at the side of the road
where they had tumbled for weeks possibly months before they were
cleared away. We just got used to them being there. On the other side of
the bridge a small area was used by the farmers for stacking the
unexploded shells which they unearthed whilst ploughing. These would
gradually accumulate during the season as they dropped them off on their
way back from the fields at the end of the day. In the spring these were
collected for disposal by the authorities and the grenades must have
stayed where they lay until they were removed at the same time as the
shells. There were still a lot of horses in use in the early sixties; I
remember a farmer who had a wooden box fitted to the back of his horse
drawn plough, and if he unearthed a shell he would pop it into the box
in front of the plough handles and carry on ploughing with the shell
just in front of him.
During his 14 years as a War Graves Gardener we also lived in
Albert, St. Pol-sur-Ternoise and also Ypres in Belgium where dad worked
at the Menin Gate and the Ypres Reservoir Cemetery.
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