PERONNE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION

 

Peronne

 

Somme

France

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From Bapaume take the N17 to Peronne. On entering Peronne, turn right towards the hospital. On reaching the hospital, which will be on the right, take the small road opposite and the communal cemetery is at the end of this road on the left. The extension is on the south-west side of the cemetery.

Peronne was taken by the German on 24 September 1914. On 18 March 1917, the 40th and 48th Divisions captured the town, but it was recovered by the Germans on the 23rd March 1918. It changed hands for the last time on 1 September 1918, when it was taken by the 2nd Australian Division

The cemetery extension was begun by the 48th (South Midland) Division in March 1917, used by the Germans in 1918, and resumed by Australian units in September 1918. At the Armistice it contained 177 graves, now in Plots I and II. It was then enlarged when graves were brought in from the battlefields north and east of Peronne and from the following small cemeteries in the area:-

AIZECOURT-LE-HAUT CHURCHYARD EXTENSION, which contained the graves of 18 soldiers from the United Kingdom and two from South Africa who fell in March 1918.


CARTIGNY COMMUNAL CEMETERY AND GERMAN EXTENSION, which contained the graves of 5,250 German soldiers, two from the United Kingdom and one from Australia.


COPSE TRENCH CEMETERY, ALLAINES, between Allaines and Moislains. Here were buried 64 soldiers from the United Kingdom (mainly 14th Black Watch and 12th Somerset Light Infantry) who fell in September 1918.


DRIENCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY, on the South side of the village, made by the 74th (Yeomanry) Division in September 1918, and contained the graves of 20 soldiers from the United Kingdom.


LIERAMONT COMMUNAL CEMETERY GERMAN EXTENSION, in which 63 soldiers from the United Kingdom were buried by the Germans in 1916-1918 and by the 58th (London) Division in September 1918.


MADAME MILITARY CEMETERY, Clery-sur-Somme (the origin of this name is uncertain, but the Germans had a "Maidan Trench" opposite), near the road to Bouchavesnes, where 56 soldiers from the United Kingdom (mainly 33rd Division) were buried in January-March 1917 (Three of these were moved to Serre Road Cemetery No.2, Beaumont-Hamel, and 53 to Peronne).


MOISLAINS BRITISH CEMETERY, a little South-West of the village, contained the graves of 54 soldiers of the 47th London) Division who fell in September 1918.


MOISLAINS CHURCHYARD, which contained the graves of three soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from Canada.


MOISLAINS GERMAN HOSPITAL CEMETERY, at the North-East end of the village, contained the graves of 38 soldiers of the Empire, who fell in 1917 and 1918, and 281 Germans.


TEMPLEUX-LA-FOSSE GERMAN CEMETERY, on the East side of the village, contained the graves of 34 soldiers from the United Kingdom. Of these 33 were buried by their comrades in September 1918.


VAUX WOOD BRITISH CEMETERY, VAUX-SUR-SOMME, within Eastern edge of the wood. Here were buried, in September 1918, 25 soldiers from the United Kingdom (mainly of the London Regiment).

There are now 1,579 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the extension. 220 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to seven casualties known or believed to be buried among them, and ten buried in other cemeteries whose graves could not be found.

The extension also contains five Second World War burials. There are 97 German war graves, 68 being unidentified.

The adjoining communal cemetery contains the grave of one airman of the First World War, killed in August 1914.

The extension was designed by
Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Casualty Details: UK 1065, Canada 1, Australia 517, South Africa 9, Germany 97, Total Burials: 1689

 

 

 

Victoria Cross: 1876 Corporal, Alexander Henry Buckley, VC, 54th Bn. Australian Infantry. Killed in action 01/09/1918. Plot II. C. 32. Son of James and Julia Buckley, of Homebush, New South Wales. Born at Gulargambone, New South Wales.

Citation:

An extract from "The London Gazette," dated 14th Dec., 1918, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice at Peronne during the operations on the 1st/2nd Sept., 1918. After passing the first objective his half company and part of the company on the flank were held up by a machine gun nest. With one man he rushed the post shooting four of the occupants and taking 22 prisoners. Later on reaching a moat, it was found that another machine gun nest commanded the only available footbridge. Whilst this was being engaged from a flank Cpl. Buckley endeavoured to cross the bridge and rush the post, but was killed in the attempt. Throughout the advance he had displayed great initiative, resource and courage, and by his efforts to save his comrades from casualties, he set a fine example of self-sacrificing devotion to duty."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shot at Dawn:

70715 Private, William Robinson, 1st Bn. Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment), executed for desertion 10/04/1917. Son of Joseph Robinson, of 3, Church Alley, Chesterfield, Derbys. Plot III. B. 22.

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.

 

 

34116 Serjeant

George William Parsons

13th Bn. Gloucestershire Regiment

22/03/1918, aged 33.

Son of John and Minnie Parsons, of 65, Sevier St., Bristol; husband of Lily Gertrude Parsons, of 1, Lancaster Rd., St. Werburghs, Bristol.

Plot IV. H. 7.

 

Picture courtesy of great nephew, Steven J. Parsons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

345355 Lance Corporal

William Husband

14th (Fife and Forfar Yeomanry) Bn.

Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

02/09/1918, aged 20.

Son of the late William Husband and of Barbara Husband,

of 78, North St., St. Andrews. Fife.

Plot IV. B. 20.

 

Picture courtesy of great niece, Margaret McRobert

 

 

 

 

 

37232 Lance Corporal

Wilfrid Holden

12th (West Somerset Yeomanry) Bn.

Somerset Light Infantry.

02/09/1918, aged 27.

Son of Edward and Catherine Holden,

of "Gainsborough," Ribbleton Avenue, Preston.

Plot V. B. 16

Picture courtesy of John Garlington

 

 

 

WW2 Graves

 

 

 

2128 Private

John Bermingham

56th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

02/09/1918, aged 35.

Son of Martin and Ann Cass, and Father of Annie, Martin, Harry and Edith. Born at Young, New South Wales.

Plot I. C. 4.

A machine expert prior to enlistment he embarked from Sydney with the 4th Reinforcements on board HMAT Port Sydney on 4 September 1916. Pte Bermingham was killed in action at Peronne on 2 September 1918, aged 35.

 

Picture courtesy of great grandson Darren Bermingham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S/20121 Private

John Keith

14th Bn. Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

(Fife and Forfar Yeomanry)

02/09/1918, aged 22.

Plot B. III. 33

 

John Wallace Keith b. 5/6/1896 in Ladybank, Fife, Scotland was the son of Robert and Jane Wallace Keith. John was unmarried and working in the ticket office of Kirkcaldy Railway Station at the time he enlisted in the Fife & Forfar Yeomanry (the Black Watch). His first posting was to Egypt, but dysentery caused him to be shipped home to recover. He returned to the war in France and was killed in an action in the fields around the village of Moislain, Somme on 2/9/1918. Those killed in the same action were buried in Moislains but at the end of the war re-interred at the Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension.

John's name is shown on war memorials in Ladybank and Giffardtown, Fife and on the Railworkers National Memorial inside Edinburgh's Waverley Station. The Books of Remembrance at Edinburgh Castle show 'no known grave' but in 2001, thanks to the Commonwealth War Grave website, his burial site at Peronne was finally found. The next Spring our family, including his nephew Robert, travelled to France to honour him, placing a Saltire and British Legion cross on the grave.

The cemetery at Peronne is quiet and beautifully maintained - more a tranquil garden than a 'foreign field'.

 

Picture and text courtesy of A Wade.

 

 

 

1169 Corporal

Clarence William Lambley

34th Bn. Australian Infantry Force. 31/08/1918, aged 29.

Plot V. P. 2.

Son of William and Maria Jane Lambley. Born in Australia, native of Wards River, New South Wales.

 

Picture courtesy of great niece, Vicky Lambley

                                                

 

 

6421 Private

Charles Cephas Coley

25th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

02/09/1918, aged 19.

Plot III. E. 26

Son of Mrs. Lucy Coley, of Brisbane St., Ipswich Rd.,

South Brisbane, Queensland.

 Born at Roma, Queensland.

 

From Rosewood, Ipswich, Qld. A schoolteacher prior to enlistment, Pte Coley embarked with the 18th Reinforcements from Sydney on HMAT Demosthenes on 23 December 1916. On 2 September 1918 he was killed in action at Mont St Quentin, France, aged 19.

 

"Remembered" by Christine Stone

 

Picture courtesy of Christine Stone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Lieutenant

Thomas Edward Smith

8th Bn. London Regiment

(Post Office Rifles)

05/09/1918, aged 21.

Son of William Henry and Judith Ellen Smith,

of 290, Lizzie St., Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Plot III. I. 36.

 

Copied from the Winnipeg Tribune

First Anniversary Brings Details of Sonís Death

Letter from Batman Tells How Winnipeg Officer Met Heroís End

While giving one of his boyís who was badly wounded a drink Lieut. T. E. Smith, son of William Smith 290 Montifiore Str., was killed by a German sniper, at Peronne Sept 5, 1918 - two months before the armistice ended the war. A week ago on the first anniversary of his sonís death. Mr. Smith received a letter from Lieut. F. C. Gozette giving details in connection with his death. Lieut. Gozette was with Lieut. Smith when the latter was shot.

Lieut. Smith had visited shell hole after shell hole to see that his boyís were comfortable. While uncorking his bottle to give a wounded man a drink, he was shot through the neck by a sniper.

The letter follows.

"I suppose you had official notice as to how you son died, but I think it would lessen your grief to learn the death of a man, a hero, such as if had he been giving the choice, possibly he would have wished.

I was your sonís batman from the time he joined the Imperial unit until his death. He was absolutely loved by his platoon and he was like an older brother to me than a officer.

It was during the Somme advance that he was hit. We attacked the last day of August Canal du Nord in front of Moislain near Peronne, and Mr. Smith was in command of our company, all of our other officers having been killed or wounded the day before. While lying in the shell hole after our objective he decided to go around our position to see if all 'his boys' were comfortable.

Making our way from shell hole to shell hole cheering the lads as we went, he came across one of his platoon badly wounded. It was while giving the poor lad a drink that a German sniper shot him through the neck. His death was mercifully instantaneous. Two or three of us got the sniper, but unfortunately that did not give us back our officer and pal. His death caused a lot of casualties to the Germans as it made the platoon mad for revenge.

I hope you got his bible as he asked me to send it to you if anything happened to him.

With the deepest sympathy in your loss of your son by one who regarded as a dear pal."

I am, Sincerely,

Lieut. F. C. Gozzet.

Notes: The article gives the address of my Grandfather, his father, as 290 Montifiore Str., in fact that is wrong my Grandfather lived at 290 Lizzie Street as shown on your web page.

The name Gozzet is spelled differently in Article, copied as written.

 

Picture and text courtesy of Ken Kennedy, of Winnipeg, Canada, nephew of this soldier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

851315 Bombardier

Walter Sidney Pollard

"B" Battery, 86th Bde.

Royal Field Artillery

14/09/1918, aged 28.

Son of William and Mary Pollard. Born in Bristol

Plot III. F. 10.

 

His epitaph reads: "Worthy of everlasting remembrance"

 

Pictures courtesy of Josephine Drew, great niece