General Directions: Authuille is a village 5 kilometres north of the town of Albert on the D151 road to Grandcourt. The Cemetery (signposted in the centre of Authille) is 1 kilometre east of the village. Access to the cemetery, 500 metres from the road, is by a grass pathway (unsuitable for cars).
On 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the 32nd Division, which included the 1st Dorsets and the 11th (Lonsdale) Battalion of the Border Regt attacked the German line at this point and stormed the Leipzig Salient, but were compelled to retire later in the day. In the spring of 1917, after the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line, V Corps cleared these battlefields and made a number of new cemeteries, including Lonsdale No.1 and No.2.
Lonsdale Cemetery No.1 (the present Lonsdale Cemetery) contained originally 96 graves (now in Plot I), the great majority of which were those of officers and men of the 1st Dorsets and the 11th Borders. It was enlarged after the Armistice when graves, almost all of 1916, were brought in from the surrounding battlefields and from other small burial grounds, including:-
LONSDALE CEMETERY No.2, which was about 500 metres further East. It contained the graves of 38 soldiers from the United Kingdom (31 of whom belonged to the 11th Borders) and two German soldiers.
NAB ROAD CEMETERY, Ovillers-la-Boisselle, which was on the road running up Nab Valley, about 900 metres East of Lonsdale Cemetery. It contained the graves of 27 soldiers from the United Kingdom, who fell in July, September and October 1916.
PAISLEY AVENUE and PAISLEY HILLSIDE CEMETERIES, which were on the South side of Thiepval Wood. They contained the graves of 284 soldiers and Marines from the United Kingdom (mainly of the 49th (West Riding) Division), who fell in July 1916 - February 1917, and two German soldiers.
Lonsdale Cemetery now contains 1,542 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 816 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 22 casualties known or believed to be buried among them.
Serjeant, James Yuill Turnbull, VC. 17th Bn. Highland Light Infantry, killed in action 01/07/1916 aged 32, plot IV. G. 9., Son of James and Elizabeth Turnbull of Glasgow.
Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 29836, dated 24th Nov., 1916, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty, when, having with his party captured a post apparently of great importance to the enemy, he was subjected to severe counter-attacks, which were continuous throughout the whole day. Although his party was wiped out and replaced several times during the day, Serjeant Turnbull never wavered in his determination to hold the post, the loss of which would have been very serious. Almost, single-handed, he maintained his position, and displayed the highest degree of valour and skill in the performance of his duties. Later in the day this very gallant soldier was killed whilst bombing a counter-attack from the parados of our trench."
Casualty Details: UK 1538, Australia 4, Germany 1, Total Burials: 1543
Joseph McPheat Isles
11th Bn. Border Regiment
18/11/1916, aged 25.
Plot X. J. 10.
Picture courtesy of Ron Isles
A. W. Payne
1st Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment
Plot X. J. 4.
awards in this cemetery