Warlencourt Cemetery (Albert-Bapaume Road, Somme)

Warlencourt, the Butte de Warlencourt and Eaucourt-L’Abbaye were the scene of very fierce fighting in the later phases of the Somme Offensive in 1916. Eaucourt was taken by the 47th (London) Division early in October (having fought at High Wood, the previous month). The Butte (a Roman mound of excavated chalk, about 17 metres high, once covered with pines) was attacked by the 47th and other divisions, but it was not relinquished by the Germans until the following 26 February, when they withdrew to the Hindenburg Line. 

The 51st (Highland) Division fought a delaying action here on 25 March 1918 during the great German advance, and the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division recaptured the ground on 25 August 1918. 

The cemetery was made late in 1919 when graves were brought in from small cemeteries and the battlefields of Warlencourt and Le Sars. The cemetery now contains 3,505 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 1,823 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 55 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials commemorate 15 casualties buried in Hexham Road Cemetery, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. 

The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who designed the Thiepval Memorial

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Warlencourt Cemetery in the north of the Somme battlefield

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Warlencourt Cemetery looking out towards the Eaucourt Ridge

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The northern reaches of the Bapaume offensive were fought with units drawing heavily from Australian and London divisions

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A large number of graves are unknown

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The Butte de Warlencourt is over to the right, just out of view from the valley

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Row upon row, Warlencourt British Cemetery

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Deep lie the stones, sentinel to the fallen. A stone cut ready to bear your name, testament that you played out in this, The Mad Game

 

 

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