NOEUX-LES-MINES COMMUNAL CEMETERY

Noeux-les-Mines

Pas de Calais

France

 

General Directions: Noeux-les-Mines is a town 6 kilometres south of Bethune on the main road to Arras. The Communal Cemetery is on the northern side of the town, on the south-east side of the road to Labourse.

The COMMUNAL CEMETERY at Noeux-les-Mines was used by the Commonwealth forces (in succession to the French) from June 1915 to August 1917. The earlier burials were carried out by units and field ambulances but in April 1917, the 7th Casualty Clearing Station began to use the cemetery. It contains 980 Commonwealth burials of the First World War.

The EXTENSION was begun in August 1917 and used until December 1918, chiefly by the 6th and 7th Casualty Clearing Stations. It contains 304 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and 12 German war graves.

The Commonwealth plot and extension were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens & John Reginald Truelove.

Victoria Cross: Private Harry W. Brown, VC. 10th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment), died of wounds 17/08/1917, aged 19. Plot II. J. 29.

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 30338, dated 16th Oct, 1917, records the following: "For most conspicuous bravery, courage and devotion to duty. After the capture of a position, the enemy massed in force and counter-attacked. The situation became very critical, all wires being cut. It was of the utmost importance to get word back to Headquarters. This soldier and one other were given the message with orders to deliver the same at all costs. The other messenger was killed. Private Brown had his arm shattered but continued on through an intense barrage until he arrived at the close support lines and found an officer. He was so spent that he fell down the dug-out steps, but retained consciousness long enough to hand over his message, saying ' Important message.' He then became unconscious and died in the dressing station a few hours later. His devotion to duty was of the highest possible degree imaginable, and his successful delivery of the message undoubtedly saved the loss of the position for the time and prevented many casualties."

Victoria Cross: Major Okill Massey Learmonth, VC. MC. 2nd Bn. Canadian Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regiment), died of wounds 19/08/1917. Plot II. K. 9.

Citation: An extract from the "London Gazette," No. 30372, dated 6th Nov., 1917, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery and exceptional devotion to duty. During a determined counter-attack on our new positions, this officer, when his company was momentarily surprised, instantly charged and personally disposed of the attackers. Later he carried on a tremendous fight with the advancing enemy. Although under intense barrage fire and mortally wounded, he stood on the parapet of the trench, and bombed the enemy continuously and directed the defence in such a manner as to infuse a spirit of utmost resistance into his men. On several occasions this very brave officer actually caught bombs thrown at him by the enemy and threw them back. When he was unable by reason of his wounds to carry on the fight he still refused to be carried out of the line, and continued to give instructions and invaluable advice to his junior officers, finally handing over all his duties before he was evacuated from the front line to the hospital where he died."

Shot at Dawn: S/2889 Private F. Murray, 9th Bn. Gordon Highlanders, attached Royal Engineers, executed for murder 01/10/1916. Plot I. P. 2.

Shot at Dawn: 39213 Private A. Hamilton, 14th Bn. Durham Light Infantry, executed for desertion 27/03/1917. Plot I. P. 17. 

Shot at Dawn: 2095 Private H. E. J Lodge, 19th Bn. Canadian Infantry, executed for desertion 13/03/1918. Plot IV. B. 5. 

Shot at Dawn: 13224 Sapper F. Malyon, 12th Field Company Royal Engineers, attached Royal Field Artillery, executed for desertion 04/04/1917. Plot I. P. 18.

The mass pardon of 306 British Empire soldiers executed for certain offences during the Great War was enacted in section 359 of the Armed Forces Act 2006, which came into effect on royal assent on 8 November 2006.

Casualty Details: UK 753, Canada 226, India 1, Total Burials: 980

 

 

 

203208 Private

Herbert Bird

1st/4th Bn. Lincolnshire Regiment

01/07/1917, aged 25.

Son of Mrs. C. S. Bird, of 51, Grove Rd., Leicester.

Plot II. D. 3.

He was remembered with great affection by his son

Remembered still by Janet Ellis and family

 

242393 Private

William France Dutton

1st/6th Bn. North Staffordshire Regiment

06/06/1917, aged 27.

Son of James and Mary Elizabeth Dutton, of Newcastle-under-Lyme; husband of Annie Maude Dutton, of 3, Foden St., Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs.

Plot I. T. 18.

 

Picture courtesy of granddaughter, June Shuker,  on behalf of her mother, the daughter of William France Dutton and the Dutton family.

 

G/5349 Private

Charles Ernest Elworthy

2nd Bn. Royal Sussex Regiment

14/10/1915, aged 23.

Son of the late Joseph and Elizabeth Elworthy. Native of Claygate, Surrey.

Plot I. E. 20.

 

Charles Ernest Elworthy was born (October 9th 1891) in Claygate, a small rural village in Surrey. He was the son of a farm labourer Joseph Elworthy and Elizabeth (neeŽ Mutimer). One of six children, both his parents had died by the time he was 15 and he stayed in the village for a while working at the farm of one of his fathers relatives: "Slough Farm" his job was delivering the milk. Two fields north of where he was staying lived a family called Scott, the family were just some of his many, many cousins in the village. He started "walking out" with one of them, Beatrice Alice Scott and eventually she was expecting a baby, sadly her mother would not them them marry because they were second cousins (although the law stated then (1909) that they could legally have done so) her exceedingly strict mother forced her daughter to leave the village and have the baby elsewhere... she also warned all of her other children to have no contact with her! Beatrice went up to London and bore a son Alfred Cecil Scott on Oct 4th 1909. Charles Ernest stayed in the Kingston area working but some time after 1911 he decided to move to Canada and ended up working in agriculture in Ontario, he attended Trinity Anglican Church near Aylmer and from there he came back to England to join up for the war. He joined up in Hammersmith - The Royal Sussex Regiment 2nd Bn. and trained in Woking, Surrey.

 

His service number was G/5349 and he was sent out to France on the 29th Sept 1915 and sent up to the front with a group of 392 men to join the battalion on October 4th. They were sent to Noeux-les-Mines. Two days later the battalion left Noeux-les-Mines and moved to Mazingarbe (near Loos) where they moved forward into the old German front line trenches. on October 7th. Between then and the 12th they dug towards the enemy, forming new trench systems as near as they could to the German front. They were under sniper fire from the Germans which caused casualties and deaths each day. On the 13th October, 1915 they came under the orders of the G.O.C. 1st Bde. At 1pm the gas and smoke discharge took place and the attack over the top was scheduled for one hour later. The Battalion was ordered to send one company forward as a strong patrol to help the 1st Bde. capture the German front line trenches (Along the line of the road H13-A42 leading into Hulluch) and then a second company would be sent one half hour later to establish themselves in the German trenches immediately west of Hulluch. The remainder of the battalion, minus one company was to closely support this enterprise. A company was sent as strong patrol and C company sent as support, while B company was to support C. The 1st Brigade commenced their assault at 2pm and at 2.19 A company of the Royal Sussex advanced over the open ground. By 2.30 Lieutenant-Colonel E. F. Villiers D.S.O heard that the Camerons' attack had failed so C company was sent forward to try and take the German trenches. The telegraph lines had been cut by shell fire and so orderlies were sent running with messages for B company to advance and support C company. In the end the 1st Bde. did not make any inroads on the German trenches and the remains of the B and C companies were brought back to the support line to await their next orders. At 5.30 the following morning they were sent out again to support the Northamptonshire regiment in another attack, but by the time they had started it was already become light and the action was called off. In the right hand column of the war Diary there is the notation for October 13th: Killed 9, OR Wounded 71, OR Missing 36, The Captains and Lieutenants are all named, as either missing or casualties but somewhere among the 116 "Other Ranks" lost that day was Charles Ernest Elworthy. He had turned 23 four days before he died. Back in Walthamstow (north west London) Beatrice Alice Scott heard from a friend in Claygate that he was missing in action and for a month she searched for him in the military convalescent centres around London until the tragic news of his death came through. Although Beatty had nothing but one faded picture of him as a young man she still had a round faced little boy who one day would start a family of his own....and one day one of the grandchildren would ask "What did Great Granddaddy do in the War? At last now I know.......

 

 Jane Reece - the Proud Great Grand daughter of Charles Ernest Elworthy. jlrps@hotmail.com for further genealogical information.

 

36277 Corporal

Jack A. C. Stacey

1st Canadian Divisional H.Q.

16/08/1917

Plot II. J. 5.

 

He was killed in action, along with his beloved horse while delivering information from the front to the Canadian Divisional H.Q.

 

Picture courtesy of Judy Murrell

 

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