GORDON DUMP CEMETERY
General Directions: Gordon Dump Cemetery is 2 kilometres north-east of Albert, on the right hand side of D929 Albert-Bapaume. At Y junction (102nd Infantry Brigade Memorial) nearby the Routiers restaurant, turn right onto D20 and follow through Ovillers/La Boisselle. After 2 kilometres the Cemetery is signposted onto a 300 metre grass track.
On 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the 8th Division attacked Ovillers and the 34th Division La Boisselle. The villages were not captured, but ground was won between them and to the south of La Boisselle. On 4 July, the 19th (Western) Division cleared La Boisselle and on 7 July the 12th (Eastern) and 25th Divisions gained part of Ovillers, the village being cleared by the 48th (South Midland) Division on 17 July. The two villages were lost during the German advance in March 1918, but they were retaken on the following 24 August by the 38th (Welsh) Division. Plot I of the Cemetery was made by fighting units after 10 July 1916 and closed in September when it contained the graves of 95 soldiers, mainly Australian. It was called variously Gordon (or Gordon's) Dump Cemetery or Sausage Valley Cemetery, from the name given to the broad, shallow valley that runs down from it to Becourt. The remainder of the cemetery was formed after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the 1916 battlefields immediately surrounding the cemetery. There are now 1,676 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 1,053 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 34 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.
Second Lieutenant Donald Simpson Bell, VC, 9th Bn. Yorkshire Regiment, killed in action 10/07/1916, plot IV. A. 8. Former professional football player. Son of Smith and Annie Bell, of Western Flats, Queen's Rd., Harrogate; husband of Rhoda Bell, of Wilmslow, Cheshire.
Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 29740, dated 8th Sept., 1916, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery. During an attack a very heavy enfilade fire was opened on the attacking company by a hostile machine gun. 2nd Lt. Bell immediately, and on his own initiative, crept up a communication trench and then, followed by Corpl. Colwill and Pte. Batey, rushed across the open under very heavy fire and attacked the machine gun, shooting the firer with his revolver, and destroying gun and personnel with bombs. This very brave act saved many lives and ensured the success of the attack. Five days later this very gallant officer lost his life performing a very similar act of bravery.
Casualty Details: UK 1582, Canada 2, Australia 91, India 1, Total Burials: 1676