FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY

Foncquevillers

Pas de Calais

France

 

General Directions: Foncquevillers is a village about 18 kilometres south-west of Arras on the D3. The Military Cemetery is on the western outskirts of the village and a CWGC signpost indicating the direction of the site is situated at the junction just beyond the village green on the D3, coming from Arras.

In 1915 and 1916 the Allied front line ran between Foncquevillers and Gommecourt. The cemetery was begun by French troops, and taken over by Commonwealth forces. It remained in use by units and field ambulances until March 1917, the burials in July 1916 (particularly in Plot I, Row L) being especially numerous. The cemetery was used again from March to August 1918, when the German offensive brought the front line back to nearly the old position. Seventy-four graves were brought in after the Armistice from the battlefields of 1916 and 1918 to the east of the village and the 325 French military graves were removed to La Targette French National Cemetery, near Arras. The village of Foncquevillers was "adopted" by the town of Derby.

The cemetery contains 648 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. 53 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to two casualties known to be buried among them. There are five airmen of the Second World War buried in the cemetery, and four Germans. There is also 1 French Non World War burial.

The cemetery was designed by
Sir Reginald Blomfield & Captain Wilfred Clement Von Berg, MC.

Victoria Cross: Captain, John Leslie Green, VC, Royal Army Medical Corps, attached 5th Bn. Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment), he was killed in action at Gommecourt on 1st July 1916. Born at Buckden, Hunts. Son of John George and Florence May Green, of St. Mark's Lodge, Cambridge. Educated at Felsted School and Downing College, Cambridge, and Bartholomew's Hospital. He is buried in plot III. D. 15.

Citation:

An extract from the London Gazette, No. 29695, dated 4th Aug., 1916, records the following:- "For most conspicuous devotion to duty. Although himself wounded, he went to the assistance of an officer who had been wounded and was hung up on the enemy's wire entanglements, and succeeded in dragging him to a shell hole, where he dressed his wounds, notwithstanding that bombs and rifle grenades were thrown at him the whole time. Captain Green then endeavoured to bring the wounded officer into safe cover, and had nearly succeeded in doing so when he himself was killed."

Casualty Details: UK 630, New Zealand 12, Germany 4, France 1, Total Burials: 647

 

4191 Private

A. English

1st/8th Bn. Sherwood Foresters

 (Notts and Derby Regiment)

24/06/1916

Plot I. F. 26.

 

 

5269 Private

Frank Elliott

7th Bn. Sherwood Foresters

(Notts and Derby Regiment)

20/06/1916, aged 21.

Husband of Mrs. Elliott, of 107, Union Rd., Nottingham.

Plot I. F. 11.

3909 Lance Corporal

Harold Mawby Hawkins

7th Bn. Sherwood Foresters

(Notts and Derby Regiment)

29/05/1916, aged 20.

Son of Benjamin and Harriett Hawkins, of 78, Egypt Rd., Basford, Nottingham.

Plot I. D. 4.

11868 Private

James Thomas Leech

1st Bn. Hampshire Regiment

28/04/1916, aged 20.

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Leech, of 140, Crockett's Rd., Handsworth, Birmingham.

Plot I. A. 1.

8621 Private

John Parkes Somerfield

"A" Coy. 1st/5th Bn.

South Staffordshire Regiment

26/06/1916, aged 20.

Son of Amos and Mary Ann Somerfield, of 53, Croft St., Walsall, Staffs.

Plot I. K. 2.

200 Company Serjeant Major

James Richard Boraston

1st/8th Bn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment

24/12/1915, aged 26.

Son of Mr. A. G. and Mrs. S. A. Boraston, of 24, Richmond Rd., Handsworth, Birmingham.

Plot I. E. 20.

5433 Private

Clarance George Crook

1st/7th Bn. Duke of Wellington's

(West Riding Regiment)

25/11/1916, aged 19.

Son of Frederick and Maria Crook, of New St., Wall Heath, Dudley, Staffs. He worked as a gardener before the war.

Plot I. H. 19.

Picture courtesy of great niece, Michelle Keddy

 

74798 Gunner

Ernest Washington Jex

32nd Div. Ammunition Column.

Royal Field Artillery

15/10/1916

Plot I. K. 17.

 

 

Lieutenant and Adjutant

Charles Nesbitt Bond

3rd Bn. Somerset Light Infantry

attd. 3rd/4th Bn. Lincolnshire Yeomanry

30/06/1916, aged 22.

Son of Francis and Ada Bond, of "Uplands" 54, Ashburton Rd., Croydon.

Plot I. G. 2

 

 

Lieutenant

Hubert Sydney Centennial Simpson

13th Bn. Australian Infantry,

A. I. F.

30/03/1918, aged 30.

Son of Frederick Washington Simpson and Emily Simpson,

of "Trebor," Rawson St., Haberfield, New South Wales. Born Sydney.

Plot III. E. 17.

Lt. Simpson was my grandfather's cousin. He was known as Bill in the 13th
Battalion, which he joined in September 1914. After seeing service at
Gallipoli in 1915, Lt Simpson was mentioned in despatches for gallantry in
action at Pozieres and  Mouquet Farm in August 1916. He was again
recommended for a bravery award in February 1918, but was killed by
shellfire at Hebuterne on 30 March 1918. In the Battalion history, Lt.
Simpson is remembered as as one the unit's heroes, who had risen through the
ranks "through sheer battle work". His name is inscribed on the Honour Roll
of the old GPO in Sydney.

I would very much like to hear from any relatives of Bill, so that something
might be written about his life.
 

Picture courtesy of Rian Willmot

 

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