ROYAL IRISH RIFLES GRAVEYARD

Laventie

Pas de Calais

France

 

General Directions: Laventie is a village about 11 kilometres south-west of Armentieres and the Graveyard is 3 kilometres south-east of the village on a minor road from Fleurbaix to Couture.

Laventie is a village and commune in the Department of the Pas-de-Calais. The Rue-du-Bacquerot runs South-East of the village, towards Fleurbaix; and the position of the road behind the British front line, during the greater part of the war, made it the natural line of a number of small British cemeteries. One of these was begun in November, 1914, and used, at first, particularly by the 1st Royal Irish Rifles. The Royal Irish Rifles Graveyard, was carried on by fighting units until July, 1916; and these original burials are now in Plots I and II. It was increased after the Armistice by the concentration of graves (chiefly of 1914-15 and 1918) from other cemeteries and from the battlefields East of Estaires and Bethune.

The Rue-du-Bacquerot runs South-East of Laventie, towards Fleurbaix; and the position of the road behind the British front line, during the greater part of the war, made it the natural line of a number of small British cemeteries. One of these was begun in November 1914, and used, at first, particularly by the 1st Royal Irish Rifles.

The Royal Irish Rifles Graveyard, was carried on by fighting units until July 1916; and these original burials are now in Plots I and II. It was increased after the Armistice by the concentration of graves (chiefly of 1914-15 and 1918) from the battlefields East of Estaires and Bethune and from certain smaller cemeteries, including:-

LAVENTIE SOUTH GERMAN CEMETERY, which was on the road to La Flinque and contained 3 U.K. of April 1918.

RUE-DU-BACQUEROT (WANGERIE POST) NEW MILITARY CEMETERY, LAVENTIE, which was close to the hamlet of Wangerie and contained 22 U.K. of 1915.

SAILLY-SUR-LA-LYS GERMAN CEMETERY, which was near the road to Bac-St. Maur and contained 8 U.K. of April 1918.

WINCHESTER ROAD CEMETERY, LAVENTIE, was a little West of Chapigny Farm and contained 18 U.K. (Royal Scots Fusiliers and Connaught Rangers) of 1914-15.

There are now over 800, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, nearly 350 are unidentified and special memorials are erected to three soldiers from the United Kingdom known to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of two soldiers from the United Kingdom, buried in Laventie South German Cemetery, whose graves could not be found.

The Graveyard covers an area of 2,872 square metres.

Victoria Cross: SD/4 Company Serjeant Major, Nelson Victor Carter, VC, 12th Bn. Royal Sussex Regiment, died 30/06/1916, aged 29. Plot VI. C. 17.

Citation: An extract from the "London Gazette," No. 29740, dated 8th Sept., 1916, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery. During an attack he was in command of the fourth wave of the assault. Under intense shell and machine gun fire he penetrated, with a few men, into the enemy's second line and inflicted heavy casualties with bombs. When forced to retire to the enemy's first line, he captured a machine gun and shot the gunner with his revolver. Finally, after carrying several wounded men into safety, he was himself mortally wounded and died in a few minutes. His conduct throughout the day was magnificent."

Shot at Dawn: 8662 Private Oliver W. Hodgetts, 1st Bn. Worcestershire Regiment, executed for cowardice 04/06/1915. Plot IV. D. 2.

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 800, Canada 2, India 2, Germany 2, Total Burials: 806

 

 

 

Lieutenant

Alan Appleby Drew

2nd Bn. Cameronians

(Scottish Rifles)

10/03/1915, aged 30.

Son of Daniel and Rhoda Drew, of Burnley.

Plot IV. H. 4.

 

Alan's father owned the Lowerhouse Print works in Burnley and the family

lived in specially built houses within the print works grounds.

The image to the left of Alan is the grave of his parents, Daniel and Rhoda in Burnley Cemetery.

The image to his right is a side view of the grave with Alan's death recorded.

 

 

 

 

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