STE. MARIE CEMETERY

Le Havre

Seine-Maritime

France

 

General DirectionsSte. Marie Cemetery is one of the town cemeteries, but it is actually situated in the commune of Graville-St. Honorine. It stands on the ridge overlooking Le Havre from the north and is north of the N.182.

During the First World War, Le Havre was one of the ports at which the British Expeditionary Force disembarked in August 1914. Except for a short interval during the German advance in 1914, it remained No.1 Base throughout the war and by the end of May 1917, it contained three general and two stationary hospitals, and four convalescent depots.

The first Commonwealth burials took place in Division 14 of Ste Marie Cemetery in mid August 1914. Burials in Divisions 19, 3, 62 and 64 followed successively.

A memorial in Plot 62 marks the graves of 24 casualties from the hospital ship 'Salta' and her patrol boat, sunk by a mine on 10 April 1917. The memorial also commemorates by name the soldiers, nurses and merchant seamen lost from the 'Salta' whose bodies were not recovered, and those lost in the sinking of the hospital ship 'Galeka' (mined on 28 October 1916) and the transport ship 'Normandy' (torpedoed on 25 January 1918), whose graves are not known.

There are now 1,690 Commonwealth burials of the First World War in this cemetery, 8 of which are unidentified.

During the Second World War, Le Havre was one of the evacuation ports for the British Expeditionary force in 1940 and towards the end of the war it was used as a supply and reinforcement base.

There are now 364 burials of the Second World War here,(59 of them unidentified) in Divisions 64 and 67 of the cemetery.

The Commonwealth plots in the cemetery were designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield

 

Victoria Cross: 355014 Serjeant William Herbert Waring, VC, MM, 25th Bn. (Montgomery and Welch Horse Yeomanry), Royal Welch Fusiliers, died of wounds 08/10/1918, aged 33. Division 62. V. I. 3.

Citation: An extract from the "London Gazette," dated 31st Jan., 1919, records the following:- "He led an attack against enemy machine guns and, in face of devastating fire from the flank and front, rushed a strong point single handed, bayoneting four of the garrison and capturing twenty others with their guns; then under heavy shell and machine gun fire, he re-organized his men, led and inspired them for another 400 yards, when he fell mortally wounded."

Shot at Dawn: 3019 Lance Serjeant A. Wickings, 9th Bn. Rifle Brigade, executed for murder 07/03/1918. Division 62. 1. K. 3.

Shot at Dawn: 253617 Gunner F. O. Wills, 50th Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Field Artillery, executed for murder 27/05/1919. Division 64. 6. E. 5.

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.

Further Information: The war graves within this cemetery are in 5 separate plots (4, 1914-1918 and 1, 1939-1945) scattered throughout the large communal cemetery, the two larger plots are to be found at either end of the cemetery and two smaller plots in the middle section, the other (WW2) plot can be found to the left of the cemetery upon entering through the main entrance.

Casualty Details: UK 1433, Canada 101, Australia 131, New Zealand 7, South Africa 14, India 3, Total Burials: 1689

Life Stories - Allan Crabtree

 

"His Death Will Be Much Regretted"

84132 Private

62nd Gen. Hosp. Royal Army Medical Corps.

17th October 1918, aged 25.

Allan Crabtree died of Broncho-Pneumonia at at No.2 General Hospital in Le Havre, France on 17th October 1918. Burnley born Allan was the only son of Barker and Elizabeth Ellen Crabtree, his father, a native of Todmorden was a dental mechanic who made and adapted artificial teeth. Allan followed his father into the dental profession and upon enlisting for the army he was shown as an unregistered dental mechanic.

In May 1915 Allan Crabtree married Sarah May Hayhurst, the following year a daughter, Marjorie was born and in 1916 their son, Fred arrived. Allan and May lived at 73 Oxford Road in the same house as his parents, a Baptist he was at one time connected to the Hollingreave Congregational Church. On the 24th August 1916 he was enlisted into the Royal Army Medical Corps, his records show that he was 5ft 4 inches, 108lbs and physically well developed.

Making use of his dental knowledge the army utilised him as a dental mechanic first in Italy and later at the military hospital in Valletta, Malta where as a specialist he was paid an extra 6d per day. he worked at the hospital between March 1917 and June 1918, he then embarked for Italy and landed at Taranto in early August before continuing to France. He spent time at home on leave in Burnley during September 1918 before returning to France on October 2nd. Two weeks later Allan Crabtree would be dead.

It was at Le Havre, France that Allan Crabtree died of Broncho-Pneumonia at No.2 General Hospital on 17th October 1918. He left a widow May and two young children behind in Burnley. The local newspaper reported that "By a host of friends and acquaintances his death will be much regretted".

His grave can be found in the Ste. Marie Cemetery at Le Havre, his parents grave in Burnley Cemetery also carries the inscription "Also of their son Pte. Allan Crabtree. R. A. M. C. Died in France, Oct 17th 1918, aged 25 years.

Biography by Brent Whittam With thanks to Burnley in the Great War - www.burnleyinthegreatwar.info

 

The interior of a hospital ward with wounded German soldiers being cared for by nurses. Some of the men lie in a row of beds with two men sitting at a desk in the right foreground. A man with his arm in a sling sits on the end of a bed in the left. (Sir John Lavery, R. A.)

IWM (Art.IWM ART 2887)

 

1306 Lance Corporal

Thomas Aloysius Rawcliffe

Military Foot Police, Military Police Corps. 04/01/1917,

 aged 26.

Son of Thomas and Mary Rawcliffe, of Chorley, Lancs.

Division 3. D. 14.

Picture courtesy of John Garlington

C/9019 Rifleman

Albert James East

20th Bn. King's Royal Rifle Corps.

26/07/1916, aged 35.

Husband of Ada East, of 22, Kentish Town Rd., Camden Town, London.

Division 3. C. 2.

 

"Remembered with honour"

by Anita, Emma and Frederick East
 

1527 Private

John Field

54th Bn. Australian Infantry,

A. I. F.

24/10/1917

Division. 62. I. J. 9.

 

Picture courtesy of the Field family and submitted by Harry Willey

 

 

Salta Memorial

 

The memorial in Plot 62 marks the graves of 24 casualties from the hospital ship 'Salta' and her patrol boat, sunk by a mine on 10 April 1917. The memorial also commemorates by name the soldiers, nurses and merchant seamen lost from the 'Salta' whose bodies were not recovered, and those lost in the sinking of the hospital ship 'Galeka' (mined on 28 October 1916) and the transport ship 'Normandy' (torpedoed on 25 January 1918), whose graves are not known.

No. 3 Ward, No.2 General Hospital, Quai d'Escale, Le Havre.

IWM (Q 10557)

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