General Directions:  Lesboeufs is a village 16 kilometres north-east of Albert. From Arras take the N17 south. Then after Bapaume, take the D19 to Lesboeufs. Take the right fork by the Church through Le Transloy to Leboeufs village, then take the C5 towards Ginchy. The Cemetery is on the right hand side.

Lesboeufs was attacked by the Guards Division on 15 September 1916 and captured by them on the 25th. It was lost on 24 March 1918 during the great German offensive, after a stubborn resistance by part of the 63rd Bn. Machine Gun Corps, and recaptured on 29 August by the 10th Bn. South Wales Borderers.

At the time of the Armistice, the cemetery consisted of only 40 graves (now Plot I), mainly those of officers and men of the 2nd Grenadier Guards who died on 25 September 1916, but it was very greatly increased when graves were brought in from the battlefields and small cemeteries round Lesboeufs.

There are now 3,136 casualties of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 1,643 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 83 soldiers known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of five casualties buried in Ginchy A.D.S. Cemetery, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire, and three officers of the 2nd Bn. Coldstream Guards, killed in action on 26 September 1916 and known to have been buried together by the roadside near Lesboefs, whose grave could not later be located.

The more considerable burial grounds concentrated into this cemetery were the following:-

FLERS DRESSING STATION CEMETERY, GINCHY, between Delville Wood and Flers, containing the graves of 33 soldiers from Australia and eight from the United Kingdom who fell in September, 1916-March, 1917.

FLERS ROAD CEMETERY, FLERS, on the Flers-Longueval road, containing the graves of 17 soldiers from the United Kingdom, three from New Zealand and one from Australia, who fell in October, 1916.

GINCHY A.D.S. CEMETERY, on the North side of Ginchy village. This was a Field Ambulance cemetery, used from November, 1916 TO March, 1917, and containing the graves of 77 soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from Australia.

GINCHY R.F.A. CEMETERY, between Ginchy and Flers, containing the graves of 16 Artillerymen from the United Kingdom and five from Australia who fell in October, 1916-February, 1917.

GUARDS' BURIAL GROUND, GINCHY, on the East side of the village, containing the graves of 21 officers and men of the Guards Division who fell on the 15th September, 1916.

NEEDLE DUMP CEMETERY, LESBOEUFS, on the road to Flers, containing the graves of 23 soldiers from Australia and four from the United Kingdom who fell in October, 1916-March, 1917.

NEEDLE DUMP SOUTH CEMETERY, LESBOEUFS, about 50 yards South of Needle Dump Cemetery, containing the graves of 14 soldiers from Australia and nine from the United Kingdom who fell in October, 1916-March, 1917.

SWITCH TRENCH CEMETERY, FLERS, a little East of the Flers-Longueval road, containing 110 (mainly Australian) graves of 1916-17. On the site of another part of Switch Trench, further West, the New Zealand Government have erected one of their two Battlefield Memorials in France.

WINDMILL TRENCH CEMETERY, LESBOEUFS, on the road leading North from Lesboeufs. It was used from September, 1916 to March, 1917, and it contained the graves of 27 soldiers from the United Kingdom and 16 from Australia.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

Casualty Details: UK 2911, Canada 5, Australia 209, New Zealand 11, Total Burials: 3136

This image courtesy of Nicholas Philpot


Two images of Guards' Cemetery a few years apart. The first image shows building work taking place at the cemetery not long after the end of the war, the second image shows the completed cemetery in the early 1920's.



Les Boeufs, France. A section of the Guards' Cemetery, with a remembrance cross in the background, which contains 3046 service graves including 184 members of the AIF.

(Donor Sir Herbert Ellison)


17886 Private

F. W. Goodall

7th Bn. Yorkshire Regiment

26/12/1916, aged 21.

Son of John Thomas and Jane Ellen Goodall, of Hampton Inn, Herne Bay, Kent.

Plot V. S. 3.


Picture courtesy of John Goodall


1778 Private

Joseph Oswald Wilcoxon

Prince of Wales Coy.

1st Bn. Welsh Guards

10/07/1916, aged 22.

Son of Joseph and Annie Wilcoxon, of 21, Alexandra Rd., Wrexham. Native of Coedpoeth, Wrexham.

Plot XIII. N. 30.


Joseph Oswald was born at Coedpoeth on October 5th 1893. Son of Joseph and Annie Wilcoxon

His brother Harold was a 2nd Lt with the 13th Welsh Regiment and during their embarkation to France saw Joseph Oswald but was unable to acknowledge him due to his rank, that was the last time he saw his brother alive.  Joseph died on Sunday 10th September 1916 and is buried at Guards Cemetery Lesboeufs, Somme.


Picture courtesy of Annette Edwards (nee Wilcoxon), great niece.



William Harold Nicholls

15th Bn. Australian Infantry,

A. I. F.

26/01/1917, aged 29.

Son of William and Catherine Nicholls; husband of Lilian May Nicholls, of 3, Central Terrace, Llanbradach, Cardiff, Wales. Native of Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Plot IV. B. 9.


Captain Nicholls born Tenby, South Wales. Emigrated to Australia 1912. Enlisted 21 September 1914 at Ipswich, Queensland, 15th Battalion AIF. Wounded twice at Gallipoli and then at Pozieres , 8 August 1916 in initial attack on Mouquet Farm. During convalescent leave he married Lillian May Fuell at Llanbrabach Parish Church , Wales, 18 September 1916. He returned to France November 1917 and was promoted to Captain of Coy. C, 15th Battalion. He was killed by shell concussion about 10 PM. January 26, 1917 while in his trench dugout northeast of Guedecourt, aged 29 years. He was initially buried in Switch Trench Cemetery and after the war was reburied in the Guards Cemetery, Lesboeufs.


Picture courtesy of Ralph Bennett


18669 Private

Harry Briggs

6th Bn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry


Plot VI. R. 10.


Harry was born in Pontefract in 1886, the son of John and Ann Briggs of Post Office Yard. He married Susan Websdale in 1911 and three years later enlisted and joined the KOYLI 6th Battalion, who were formed that same year joining the 43rd Battalion in the 14th Light Division. Harry was 28 years old when he was posted to Aldershot in February 1915, and then on 21 May 1915 the 6th Battalion KOYLI were sent to Boulogne to fight in the Battles of the Somme. From service records we know that Harry was killed on 15 September 1916, and from our research, it would appear that Harry would have been involved in action in one of the battles of Delville Wood near Longueval Village.

He is remembered on the war memorial at Thurnscoe, Rotherham, his family having moved there in later years.

Picture courtesy of Gary and Leona Mercer, Harry Briggs was their second Great Grand Uncle



Lieutenant Colonel

C. A. W. Anderson

1st Bn. North Staffordshire Regiment

attd. 1st/5th Bn. King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)


Plot V. A. 1.

Lieutenant Colonel

William Drury Drury-Lowe, DSO.

1st Bn. Grenadier Guards


Son of the late William D. N. Drury-Lowe and Lady Lucy Drury-Lowe; husband of the Hon. Hylda Harriet M. Drury-Lowe. Served in the South African war.

Plot VII. A. 6.




G/1087 Private

C. D. Williams

6th Bn. The Buffs

(East Kent Regiment)

07/10/1916, aged 22.

Son of Arthur Samuel and Elizabeth Williams of New Cross, London.

Plot IV. L. 2.

Second Lieutenant

John Middleton Underwood

3rd Bty. 45th Bde. Royal Field Artillery

10/11/1916, aged 21.

Son of Charles Craddock Underwood and Katharine Anne Underwood, of "Goodrest," Somerset Rd., Ealing, London.

Plot X. B. 6.


Second Lieutenant

E. Marchetti

149th Bde. Royal Field Artillery

08/11/1916, aged 29.

Son of George and Alexandra Marchetti, of 135, Gloucester Terrace, Paddington, London.

Plot III. D. 7.


William Henry Rushton

"D" Coy. 1st Bn. Lincolnshire Regiment

25/09/1916, aged 19.

Son of William Henry Samuel Rushton and Ida Rushton, of " Lincolnsfield, " Victoria Crescent, Private Rd., Nottingham.

Plot V. A. 6.

6235 Private

R. Nightingale

3rd Bn. London Regiment

(Royal Fusiliers)


Plot XIII. Y. 3.


Robert Archibald Butchard

31st Bn. Royal Fusiliers

05/11/1916, aged 23.

Son of George William Butchard, of Grove House, Northfleet, Gravesend, Kent.

Plot IV. X. 2.


B/1613 Corporal

R. Sykes

9th Bn. Rifle Brigade


Plot VI. O. 1.

Captain & Adjutant

George Ronald Lane

2nd Bn. Coldstream Guards

15/09/1916, aged 22.

Son of Maj. Gen. Sir Ronald B. Lane, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., and Lady Lane, of Carleton Hall, Saxmundham. Previously wounded in 1914.

Plot VIII. R. 10.

1422 Serjeant

James Alderson

5th Bty. 45th Bde. Royal Field Artillery

15/11/1916, aged 31.

Son of James Anderson; husband of Alice Anderson, of 12, Adlington St., Burnley. Also served in the South African Campaign.

Plot XII. T. 6.


Prior to enlisting he was a Police constable in Burnley.


Second Lieutenant

S. R. Pitt, MC.

2nd Bde. Royal Field Artillery


Plot II. U. 1.


58339 Lance Corporal

Thomas Bretherick

17th Signal Coy. Royal Engineers

01/11/1916, aged 26.

Son of Tom A. and Annie Bretherick, of 3, Albion Terrace, Burnley.

Plot VII. D. 3.


He enlisted on 24th August 1914 and had been wounded previously. Prior to enlisting he was a draftsman at Burnley Ironworks.



Graham Yuille Laundy Walters

2nd Bn. Irish Guards

attd. Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)

Son of Rowland Percy and Ellinor Margaret Walters, of 6, Gledhow Gardens, South Kensington, London.

Sp. Mem. 15.


59604 Gunner

Levi Dickinson

"O" Bty. Royal Horse Artillery

12/11/1916, aged 20.

Plot XI. E. 8.







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