|Cemetery:||DELVILLE WOOD CEMETERY, LONGUEVAL|
|I. C. 8.
|Location:||Longueval is a village 11 kilometres east of Albert. Delville
Wood Cemetery is east of the village and on the south side of the road from Longueval to
Ginchy. The cemetery is directly opposite the South African National Museum which is well
signposted from the N17 at Bapaume.
|Historical Information:||The Bois Delville (or d'Elville) was a tract of woodland,
nearly 1 kilometre square, the Western edge of which touched the village of Longueval in
the Somme. On the 14th July the greater part of Longueval village was taken by the 9th
(Scottish) Division, and on the 15th the South African Brigade of that Division captured
Delville Wood, except the North-West corner. The Wood at this time was a Salient in a
right-angle corner of the line, Waterlot Farm and Mons Wood, on the South flank, being
still in the hands of the enemy; and, owing to the height of the trees, no close artillery
support to the defence was possible. On the 18th, what remained of the three Battalions
was forced back to "Buchanan Street"; and on the evening of the 20th, after six
days of the fiercest fighting by day and night, the survivors, a mere handful of men, were
relieved. On the 27th, the 2nd Division retook the Wood and held it until the 4th August.
The 17th Division then took it over. On the 18th and 25th August it was cleared of all
enemy resistance by the 14th (Light) Division. The Wood was lost at the end of April,
1918, and retaken by the 38th (Welsh) Division on the following 28th August.
The Cemetery was made after the Armistice, by the concentration of a few small cemeteries and of isolated graves (almost all of July, August and September, 1916) from the battlefields.
There are now over 5,500 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, nearly two-thirds are unidentified and special memorials are erected to 26 soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from South Africa, known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of three soldiers from the United Kingdom, buried in Courcelette Communal Cemetery German Extension, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. Fifteen French graves have been removed to another cemetery.
The Cemetery covers an area of 21,408 square metres and is enclosed by a rubble wall. It stands opposite the South African Memorial, and the Cemetery and the Memorial form one architectural scheme.
Of the cemeteries from which British graves were concentrated into Delville Wood Cemetery:-
ANGLE WOOD CEMETERY, GINCHY, was a group of graves in an "excavated shell-hole" in Angle Wood, to the North-West of Maurepas; and in them were buried 27 soldiers from the United Kingdom (mainly of the London Regiment) who fell in August and September, 1916.
BATTERY COPSE CEMETERY, CURLU (called by the French Bois Vieux No. 2 Mixed Cemetery), was between Curlu and Maurepas. It contained, in addition to French graves, those of 17 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in 1916-18.
BAZENTIN-LE-PETIT GERMAN CEMETERY was at the South-East end of the village; it contained the graves of 2,178 German soldiers, one French, and five (who fell in March and April, 1918) from the United Kingdom.
COURCELETTE COMMUNAL CEMETERY GERMAN EXTENSION contained the graves of three soldiers from the United Kingdom, one from Canada, and 1,040 German.
FERME-ROUGE FRENCH MILITARY CEMETERY, CURLU (called by the French Bois-Vieux "B" Cemetery), was close to Battery Copse Cemetery. It contained 138 French graves and that of one soldier from the United Kingdom who fell in March, 1917.
GUILLEMONT GERMAN CEMETERY No. 1, at the West end of the village, containing 221 German graves and those of seven soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in May and July, 1918.
LONE RIDGE CEMETERY, LONGUEVAL, between Delville Wood and the centre of the village, contained the graves of 52 soldiers of the 38th (Welsh) Division and the 6th Dragoon Guards who fell at the end of August, 1918.
MARICOURT (DE LA COTE) GERMAN CEMETERY, on the South West side of the village, contained the graves of five soldiers and airmen from the United Kingdom.
MARTINPUICH GERMAN CEMETERY No. 1, at the North-East end of the village, contained the graves of six soldiers and one sailor from the United Kingdom who fell in March 1918.
MARTINPUICH GERMAN CEMETERY No. 2, 365 metres West of No. 1, contained the grave of one soldier from the United Kingdom.
|scottish church records|scots origins|tartans
© 1998 David Duffus. All rights reserved.