VAULX HILL CEMETERY
Pas de Calais
General Directions: Vaulx-Vraucourt is a village in the Department of the Pas-de-Calais, 6 kilometres north-east of Bapaume. Vaulx Hill Cemetery is signposted from the village. Take the RD36 direction Lagnicourt up the hill, and the Cemetery can be seen at the road side 1 kilometre from Vaulx-Vraucourt.
Vaulx-Vraucourt village was taken in the spring of 1917, lost (after severe fighting) in March 1918, and retaken in the following September. Vaulx Hill Cemetery started with just 17 graves of September 1918 (in Plot I, Rows A and B). The rest of the cemetery was formed after the Armistice when graves were brought in from other cemeteries and from the battlefields in the immediate neighbourhood.
Lieutenant Cecil Harold Sewell, VC, Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) and 3rd (Light) Tank Bn. Tank Corps. Killed in action 29/08/1918 aged 23. Plot I. D. 3. Son of Harry Bolton Sewell and Mary Ann Sewell, of 26 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London. His brothers Harry Kemp Sewell and Herbert Victor Sewell also fell.
Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 30982, dated 29th Oct., 1918, records the following:-'' When in command of a section of Whippet Light Tanks in action this officer displayed most conspicuous bravery and initiative in getting out of his own Tank and crossing open ground under heavy shell and machine-gun fire to rescue the crew of another Whippet of his section which had side slipped into a large shell-hole, overturned and taken fire. The door of the Tank having become jammed against the side of the shell-hole, Lt. Sewell, by his own unaided efforts, dug away the entrance to the door and released the crew. In so doing he undoubtedly saved the lives of the officer and men inside the Tank as they could not have got out without his assistance. After having extricated the crew, seeing one of his own crew lying wounded behind his Tank, he again dashed across the open ground to his assistance. He was hit in doing so, but succeeded in reaching the Tank when a few minutes later he was again hit, fatally, in the act of dressing his wounded driver. During the whole of this period he was within full view and short range of the enemy machine guns and rifle-pits, and throughout, by his prompt and heroic action, showed an utter disregard for his own personal safety."
Casualty Details: UK 687, Canada 1, Australia 110, New Zealand 58, Total Burials: 856