UNICORN CEMETERY

Vend'huile

Aisne

France

 

General Directions: Vend'huile is a village about 19 kilometres north of St Quentin and 24 kilometres south-east of Peronne. Unicorn Cemetery is about 3 kilometres south-west of Vend'huile on the west side of the road to the villages of Lempire and Ronssoy.

Vendhuile (Vend'huile) was very nearly reached in the Battle of Cambrai 1917. It was taken by the 27th and 30th American Divisions at the end of September 1918, and cleared by the 12th and 18th Divisions on 30 September. After the fight, men of the 18th Division were buried by the 50th (Northumbrian) Division in Plot I, Row A, of Unicorn Cemetery (the name is taken from the Divisional mark of the 50th Division). The rest of the cemetery was formed after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the surrounding battlefields, isolated sites and from the following small cemeteries of 1917 and 1918:-

LA PAURELLE BRITISH CEMETERY, RONSSOY, contained 110 graves of soldiers from the United Kingdom. It was in a hamlet on the Basse Boulogne-Epehy road. It was begun by 1/5th Gloucesters in April 1917 and used by cavalry and infantry units until February 1918. After the recapture of Ronssoy by the 18th Division on the 18th September 1918, it was used again by the 6th Northamptons.
BASSE-BOULOGNE BRITISH CEMETERY, LEMPIRE, contained the graves of 67 soldiers from the United Kingdom and Australia. It was made by the 103rd Labour Company after the capture of Basse-Boulogne on the 18th September 1918, by the 6th Northamptons. It was a little East of the hamlet of Basse-Boulogne.
LEMPIRE BRITISH CEMETERY, originally contained the graves of 118 soldiers from the United Kingdom, one from Australia, 15 American soldiers and 40 German prisoners. It was made by the 18th Division Burial Officer after the Division had cleared Lempire on the 19th September 1918. It was on the Eastern side of Lempire village.
LEMPIRE and VEND'HUILE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSIONS, contained respectively the graves of seven and six soldiers from the United Kingdom.

The cemetery now contains 1,008 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 409 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to ten casualties known or believed to be buried among them. There are also special memorials to eight casualties buried in Lempire British Cemetery whose graves could not be found on concentration.

 

The Cemetery was designed by Charles Henry Holden & William Harrison Colishaw



 

Victoria Cross: 1153 Corporal, Lawrence Carthage Weathers, VC, 43rd Bn. Australian Infantry. Son of John Joseph and Ellen Frances Johanna Weathers; husband of Annie E. Weathers, of "Te Kopuru," Main Avenue, Frewville, South Australia. Native of North Wairo, New Zealand. Died of wounds on 29/9/1918 and is buried in Plot III. C. 5.

Citation:

An extract from The London Gazette, No. 31082, dated 24th Dec., 1918, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on the 2nd September, 1918, north of Peronne, when with an advanced bombing party. The attack having been held up by a strongly held enemy trench, Cpl. Weathers went forward alone under heavy fire and attacked the enemy with bombs. Then, returning to our lines for a further supply of bombs, he again went forward with three comrades, and attacked under very heavy fire. Regardless of personal danger, he mounted the enemy parapet and bombed the trench, and, with the support of his comrades, captured 180 prisoners and three machine guns. His valour and determination resulted in the successful capture of the final objective, and saved the lives of many of his comrades."

Casualty Details: UK 925, Canada 1, Australia 78, India 4, Total Burials: 1008

 

 

1153 Corporal

Lawrence Carthage Weathers, V. C.

43rd Bn. Australian Infantry,

A. I. F.

29/09/1918, aged 28.

Son of John Joseph and Ellen Frances Johanna Weathers; husband of Annie E. Weathers, of "Te Kopuru," Main Avenue, Frewville, South Australia. Native of North Wairo, New Zealand.

Plot III. C. 5.

 

Citation: An extract from The London Gazette, No. 31082, dated 24th Dec., 1918, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on the 2nd September, 1918, north of Peronne, when with an advanced bombing party. The attack having been held up by a strongly held enemy trench, Cpl. Weathers went forward alone under heavy fire and attacked the enemy with bombs. Then, returning to our lines for a further supply of bombs, he again went forward with three comrades, and attacked under very heavy fire. Regardless of personal danger, he mounted the enemy parapet and bombed the trench, and, with the support of his comrades, captured 180 prisoners and three machine guns. His valour and determination resulted in the successful capture of the final objective, and saved the lives of many of his comrades."

 

Picture courtesy of Doug Hooper

 

67707 Private

Sidney William Richmond

11th Bn. Royal Fusiliers

28/09/1918

Plot IV. D. 30.

Formerly 31773, East Surrey Regt.

 

 

 

 

203118 Lance Corporal

William Pearce

1st/5th Bn. Gloucestershire

Regiment.

26/04/1917.

Son of Benjamin Pearce from Winford, Somerset.

Plot II. F. 21.
 

Picture courtesy of Mike Pearce, great nephew of this soldier.

3070 Private

Gordon Henry Gibson

38th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F

29/09/1918, aged 23.

Plot III. B. 6.

Gordon joined the A.I.F. in January 1917 and sailed from Melbourne, Australia on the ship "Ballarat", arriving in the UK on 26th April 1917. From there his unit proceeded to France.

Gordon was the eldest son of Louise and William Gibson of 74 Victoria Street, Footscray, Victoria, Australia. His younger siblings were Arthur, Bert, and Alma (my mother).

 

Picture courtesy of Barbara Paterson, niece.

 

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