ORS COMMUNAL CEMETERY
General Directions: The village of Ors is between Le Cateau and Landrecies. The Communal Cemetery lies to the north-west of the village. It should not be confused with Ors British Cemetery which is 1 kilometre north-east of the church.
Ors was cleared by the 6th Division on the 1st November, 1918. Buried within this cemetery is the poet Wilfred Owen.
Second Lieutenant James Kirk, VC, 10th Attached 2nd Bn. Manchester Regiment, killed in action 04/11/1918 aged 22, row A. 22.
Son of James and Rachel Kirk, of 530 Edge Lane, Droylesden, Manchester. Born at Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire.
Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 31108, dated 3rd Jan., 1919, records the following:- " For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty North of Ors on 4th Nov., 1918, whilst attempting to bridge the Oise Canal. To cover the bridging of the canal he took a Lewis gun, and, under intense machine-gun fire, paddled across the canal on a raft, and at a range of ten yards expended all his ammunition. Further ammunition was paddled across to him and he continuously maintained a covering fire for the bridging party from a most exposed position till killed at his gun. The supreme contempt of danger and magnificent self-sacrifice displayed by this gallant officer prevented many casualties and enabled two platoons to cross the bridge before it was destroyed."
Lieutenant Colonel James Neville Marshall, VC, MC and bar, Irish Guards attached 16th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers, killed in action 04/11/1918 aged 31, his grave is in line with row A. 22.
Officier Order of Leopold, Chevalier Order of Leopold, Croix de Guerre (Belgium). Husband of Edith Marshall, of Lascelles Lodge, Matching Green, Harlow, Essex.
Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 31178, dated 13th Feb., 1919, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery, determination and leadership in the attack on the Sambre-Oise Canal, near Catillon, on the 4th November, 1918, when a partly constructed bridge came under concentrated fire and was broken before the advanced troops of his battalion could cross. Lt. Col. Marshall at once went forward and organised parties to repair the bridge. The first party were soon killed or wounded, but by personal example he inspired his command, and volunteers were instantly forthcoming. Under intense fire and with complete disregard of his own safety, he stood on the bank encouraging his men and assisting in the work, and when the bridge was repaired attempted to rush across at the head of his battalion and was killed while so doing. The passage of the canal was of vital importance, and the gallantry displayed by all ranks was largely due to the inspiring example set by Lt. Col. Marshall."
Casualty Details: UK 63, Total Burials: 63
The pictures above courtesy of Conrad Freeling
16th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers
04/11/1918, aged 19.
Son of Thomas and Alice Melling of Hesketh Lane, Tarleton, Lancashire
Row A. 6.
Picture courtesy of Mary Melling, great niece.