DUD CORNER CEMETERY and THE LOOS MEMORIAL
Pas de Calais
Dud Corner Cemetery and The Loos Memorial Roll of Honour page - Images of those commemorated here
General Directions: Loos-en-Gohelle is a village 5 kilometres north-west of Lens. Dud Corner Cemetery is located about 1 kilometre west of the village, to the north-east of the N43 the main Lens to Bethune road. The Loos Memorial forms the side and back of Dud Corner Cemetery and commemorates over 20,000 officers and men who have no known grave, who fell in the area from the River Lys to the old southern boundary of the First Army, east and west of Grenay.
The name "Dud Corner" is believed to be due to the large number of unexploded enemy shells found in the neighbourhood after the Armistice. The only burials here during hostilities were those of four Officers of the 9th Black Watch and one Private of the 8th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, close to Plot III, Row B; the remainder of the graves were brought in later from isolated positions near Loos and to the North, and from certain small cemeteries, including:- TOSH CEMETERY, LOOS, was on the North side of the village, close to the communication trench called Tosh Alley. It contained the graves of 171 soldiers from the United Kingdom (118 of whom were Irish) and five from Canada. It was used from October 1915 to September 1917. CRUCIFIX CEMETERY, LOOS, was a little West of Tosh Cemetery. It was used from September 1915 to May 1916, and it contained the graves of 53 soldiers from the United Kingdom. LE RUTOIRE BRITISH CEMETERY, VERMELLES, was close to Le Rutoire Farm, which is on Loos Plain, near the village of Vermelles. It was used in 1915, and contained the graves of 82 soldiers from the United Kingdom and six French soldiers. There are now nearly 2,000, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over half are unidentified and special headstones have been erected to 15 soldiers from the United Kingdom who are believed to be buried among them. The great majority of the dead buried here fell in the Battle of Loos 1915; but some were killed in succeeding years. Originally, the regimental memorials for the following units were brought into the cemetery:- 10th Scottish Rifles and the 17th London Regiment, dating from the Battle of Loos, and those of the Royal Montreal Regiment and the Royal Highlanders of Canada, dating from the Battle of Hill 70 in August 1917. These memorials were later removed. Special memorials are erected in this Cemetery to twelve soldiers of the 2nd Welch Regiment, killed in action on the 12th October 1915, and buried in Crucifix Cemetery, Loos, whose graves could not be found on concentration. The cemetery now covers an area of 5,550 square metres, and is bounded by a low rubble wall except on the road side, where the War Stone is raised on a grass terrace and flanked by buildings.
Victoria Cross: Captain Anketell Moutray Read, VC, Royal Flying Corps and 1st Bn. Northamptonshire Regiment, he died on 25th September 1915. Plot VII. F. 19.
Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 29371, dated 16th Nov., 1915, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery during the first attack near Hulluch on the morning of 25th September, 1915. Although partially gassed, Captain Read went out several times in order to rally parties of different units which were disorganised and retiring. He led them back into the firing line, and, utterly regardless of danger, moved freely about encouraging them under a withering fire. He was mortally wounded while carrying out this gallant work. Captain Read had previously shown conspicuous bravery during digging operations on 29th, 30th and 31st August, 1915, and on the night of the 29th-30th July he carried out of action an officer, who was mortally wounded, under a hot fire from rifles and grenades."
Victoria Cross: L/8088 Serjeant Harry Wells, VC. 2nd Bn. Royal Sussex Regiment, he was killed on 25th September 1915. Plot V. E. 2.
Citation: An extract from the "London Gazette," No. 29371, dated 16th Nov., 1915, records the following:- "When his Platoon Officer had been killed he took command and led his men forward to within fifteen yards of the German wire. Nearly half the Platoon were killed or wounded, and the remainder were much shaken, but with the utmost coolness and bravery, Serjeant Wells rallied them and led them forward. Finally, when very few were left, he stood up and urged them forward once more, but while doing this he was killed. He gave a magnificent example of courage and determination."
Casualty Details: UK 1784, Canada 28, Total Burials: 1812
The Loos Memorial
The Loos Memorial forms the side and back of Dud Corner Cemetery, and commemorates over 20,000 officers and men who have no known grave, who fell in the area from the River Lys to the old southern boundary of the First Army, east and west of Grenay. Loos-en-Gohelle is a village 5 kilometres north-west of Lens, and Dud Corner Cemetery is located about 1 kilometre west of the village, to the north-east of the N43 the main Lens to Bethune road.
Dud Corner Cemetery stands almost on the site of a German strong point, the Lens Road Redoubt, captured by the 15th (Scottish) Division on the first day of the battle. The name "Dud Corner" is believed to be due to the large number of unexploded enemy shells found in the neighbourhood after the Armistice. On either side of the cemetery is a wall 15 feet high, to which are fixed tablets on which are carved the names of those commemorated. At the back are four small circular courts, open to the sky, in which the lines of tablets are continued, and between these courts are three semicircular walls or apses, two of which carry tablets, while on the centre apse is erected the Cross of Sacrifice.
No. of Identified Casualties: 20596
Victoria Cross: R/11941, Rifleman George Peachment, VC. 2nd Bn. King's Royal Rifle Corps, killed in action 25/09/1915, aged 18. Panel 101 and 102.
Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette", dated 18th Nov., 1915, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery near Hulluch on 25th Sept., 1915. During very heavy fighting, when our front line was compelled to retire in order to re-organise, Pte. Peachment, seeing his Company Commander, Captain Dubs, lying wounded, crawled to assist him. The enemy's fire was intense, but, though there was a shell hole quite close, in which a few men had taken cover, Pte. Peachment never thought of saving himself. He knelt in the open by his Officer and tried to help him, but while doing this he was first wounded by a bomb and a minute later mortally wounded by a rifle bullet. He was one of the youngest men in his battalion and gave this splendid example of courage and self-sacrifice."
Victoria Cross: Lieutenant Colonel Angus Falcolner Douglas-Hamilton, VC. Commanding 6th Bn. Cameron Highlanders, killed in action 26/09/1915, aged 52. Panel 119-124.
Citation: An extract from The "London Gazette," dated 18th Nov., 1915, recorded the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when commanding his battalion during operations on 25th and 26th September, 1915, on Hill 70. On the 26th, when the battalions on his right and left had retired, he rallied his own battalion again and again, and led his men forward four times. The last time he led all that remained, consisting of about fifty men, in a most gallant manner and was killed at their head. It was mainly due to his bravery, untiring energy and splendid leadership that the line at this point was enabled to check the enemy's advance."
Victoria Cross: Second Lieutenant, Frank Bernard Wearne, VC. 3rd Bn. Attached 10th Bn. Essex Regiment, died of wounds 28/06/1917, aged 23. Panel 85-87.
Citation: An extract from The London Gazette dated 31st July, 1917, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery when in command of a small party on the left of a raid on the enemy's trenches. He gained his objective in the face of much opposition and by his magnificent example and daring was able to maintain this position for a considerable time, according to instructions. During this period 2nd Lt. Wearne and his small party were repeatedly counter-attacked. Grasping the fact that if the left flank was lost his men would have to give way, 2nd Lt. Wearne, at a moment when the enemy's attack was being heavily pressed and when matters were most critical, leapt on the parapet and, followed by his left section, ran along the top of the trench, firing and throwing bombs. This unexpected and daring manoeuvre threw the enemy off his guard and back in disorder. Whilst on the top of the trench 2nd Lt. Wearne was severely wounded, but refused to leave his men. Afterwards he remained in the trench directing operations, consolidating his position and encouraging all ranks. Just before the order to withdraw was given, this gallant officer was again severely hit for the second time, and while being carried away was mortally wounded. By his tenacity in remaining at his post though severely wounded, and his magnificent fighting spirit, he was enabled to hold on to the flank."
Shot at Dawn: G/12341 Private William Bowerman, 1st Bn. Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment, executed for desertion on 24/03/1917, aged 38. Panel 65 to 67.
Shot at Dawn: 43499 Private Thomas Foulkes, 1st/10th Bn. Manchester Regiment, executed for desertion on 21/11/1917, aged 21. Panel 103.
View towards one of the panelled side walls of the memorial that surround the cemetery
Looking from the cemetery toward the Cross of Sacrifice and memorial
Closer view of the Cross of Sacrifice and memorial
Dud Corner, Loos, The Cross of Sacrifice
Another view of the memorial
Just some of the thousands of names of those with no known grave which are listed on the memorial
Dud Corner Cemetery and The Loos Memorial Roll of Honour page - Images of those commemorated here