HERMIES HILL BRITISH CEMETERY

Hermies

Pas de Calais

France

 

 

 

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General Directions: Hermies is a town in the Department of the Pas-de-Calais, approximately 3.5 kilometres south of the road from Bapaume to Cambrai, the N30. From the N30 take the D34 for 3.2 kilometres to its junction with the D5E where the first CWGC sign is situated. The Cemetery lies on the left side of the road, 150 metres from the junction.

Hermies was seized on the morning of the 9th April 1917, by a surprise attack of the 2nd and 3rd Australian Infantry Battalions. It was held against the advancing Germans on the 22nd March 1918, by the 17th Division, but evacuated on the following day; and it was retaken in September 1918. It was later "adopted", with Havrincourt, by the County Borough of Huddersfield.

The cemetery was begun in November 1917, and carried on by fighting units until March 1918, and further graves were added in the following September. These original burials comprise nearly the whole of Plot I; the remaining three Plots were added after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from a wide area round Hermies and from certain small cemeteries, including:-

DEMICOURT GERMAN CEMETERY, BOURSIES, at the North end of the hamlet of Demicourt, which contained about 100 German graves and those of 15 unidentified men of the 7th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

HAVRINCOURT COTTAGE GARDEN CEMETERY, made by the 47th (London) Division in the Southern part of the village, which contained the graves of 30 soldiers from the United Kingdom and 5 Germans who fell in the winter of 1917-1918.

HAVRINCOURT WOOD BRITISH CEMETERY, about 1 kilometre South-West of Havrincourt village. It contained the graves of 70 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell on the 20th November, 1917, the first day of the Battle of Cambrai, and all but 5 of whom belonged to the Infantry of the 62nd (West Riding) Division.

HERMIES AUSTRALIAN CEMETERY, on the North-West side of the village, which contained the graves of 1 officer and 20 N.C.O.s and men of the 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion, who fell on the 9th April 1917.

There are now over 1,000, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, nearly 300 are unidentified and special memorials are erected to 28 soldiers from the United Kingdom and 3 from Australia, known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of 6 soldiers from the United Kingdom, buried in two German Cemeteries, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire.

The cemetery covers an area of 3,629 square metres and is enclosed by a brick wall.

Victoria Cross: Second Lieutenant, Frank Edward Young, VC, 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment, this Officer was Killed in action on 18th September 1918 aged 23 years during the action for which he gained his award. He is buried in III. B. 5., Son of Frank and Sarah Ellen Young, of 46, Wood Avenue, Folkestone, Kent.

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette" No. 31067, dated 13th Dec., 1918, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery, determination and exceptional devotion to duty on 18th September, 1918, south-east of Havrincourt, when during an enemy counter-attack and throughout an extremely intense enemy barrage he visited all posts, warned the garrisons and encouraged the men. In the early stages of the attack he rescued two of his men who had been captured, and bombed and silenced an enemy machine gun. Although surrounded by the enemy, 2nd Lt. Young fought his way back to the main barricade and drove out a party of the enemy who were assembling there. By his further exertions the battalion was able to maintain a line of great tactical value, the loss of which would have meant serious delay to future operations. Throughout four hours of intense hand-to-hand fighting 2nd Lt. Young displayed the utmost valour and devotion to duty, and set an example to which the company gallantly responded. He was last seen fighting hand to hand against a considerable number of the enemy."

Casualty Details: UK 983, Canada 3, Australia 43, New Zealand 7, Total Burials: 1036

63214 Bombardier

William Charles Ovenden

"C" Bty. 93rd Brigade,

Royal Field Artillery

20/01/1918.

Son of William Ovenden, of 35, Chandos Rd., Tunbridge Wells.

Plot I. F. 20.

 

"We never met

we never could,

because you were killed

before I stood"

 

Picture courtesy of nephew, Jim Christmas

32723 Private

James Jesse Lyman, MM.

2nd Bn. Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry

11/09/1918, aged 24.

He was a resident of Gayhurst, Buckinghamshire.

Plot III. A. 38.

 

 

4457 Private

William John Cook

2nd Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

09/04/1917, aged 30.

Son of Thomas Henry and Sarah Jane Cook, of Meehan St., Granville, New South Wales. Born at Parramatta.

Plot III. D. 22.

     

4196A Private

William Hornby

2nd Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

09/04/1917, aged 26.

Son of William and Mary Jane Hornby, of 4, Wilson St., Hamilton, New South Wales. Born at Singleton, New South Wales.

Plot III. D. 20.

6518 Private

Thomas Robert Harrison

2nd Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

09/04/1917

Plot III. D. 29.

2378 Private

Bert Harris

4th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

15/04/1917, aged 21.

Son of Henry George and Ida Harris, of Brungle, New South Wales. Born at Yarrangobilly, New South Wales.

Plot IV. B. 1.

57602 Private

Frederick James Pole

2nd/6th Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment

(Prince of Wales's Own)

20/11/1917, aged 31.

Son of James and Harriett Pole, of Belgrave, Leicester; husband of Susan Pole, of 11, Belgrave Avenue, Leicester.

Plot IV. E. 27.

 

 

The image on the left shows Frederick's father at his son's grave, the other, group image shows Frederick, second from the left.

If anyone has any further information on the men in this group it would be gratefully received by Roger, please contact us and we will pass the information on to him.

 

God Bless always in our hearts from grandson Roger and Joy and all the Pole family

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