Travels on the Somme Part Nine – Aveluy Wood Cemetery (Lancashire Dump)

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Aveluy Wood Cemetery (Lancashire Dump) is another cemetery situated in the valley of the River Ancre, a little way south of Ancre British Cemetery and the village of Hamel.

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Cemetery entrance.  The Lancashire Dump part of the official title comes from the name given to this immediate area by the British at the time.

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Although the cemetery was begun at the start of the battle, only a handful of burials here are men killed on 1st July.  The cemetery plan can be seen here.

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The cemetery was used on a fairly regular basis throughout the rest of 1916 until the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in February 1917.

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Plot II (above) and Plot III (below) were both added after the Armistice when isolated graves were brought here from elsewhere in the wood…

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…and in the early 1920s the five rows furthest from the camera in Plot I (above), 124 graves in all, were brought in from wider afield and reburied here.  There are now 380 burials in this cemetery, of which 172 are unidentified.

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Above & following photos: The irregularity of the original graves in Plot I shows the battlefield nature of this cemetery when it was first begun.

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Along the wall, some of the twenty special memorials to men known to be buried among the unidentified burials here.

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Naval casualties of the fighting in the spring of 1918.

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Next, we begin a series of posts visiting the sites of the battles that took place along the Albert-Bapaume road during the summer of 1916, beginning with a look around Albert itself.

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3 Responses to Travels on the Somme Part Nine – Aveluy Wood Cemetery (Lancashire Dump)

  1. Jenny Taylor says:

    My great grandfather Able Seaman James Hutchinson R/5790was buried here.  We have been told that he was buried in Lancashire Dump Cemetery, Aveluy Wood, Plot 10. Row E. Grave 3. I have had a look at the map which says plot I. Do you think that it was the same plot? You speak about plots II & III, where there only 3 plots?
    Kind regards Jenny

  2. Magicfingers says:

    Hello Jenny. Able Seaman James Hutchinson is buried in Plot III Row F4, so I’m afraid that the information you have is incorrect – there are only three plots. You will be interested to know that he was one of the men who were found post-war and brought here to be buried. I have a form that gives the approximate grid reference where he was found (sadly he appears to have been the only man found at that grid reference), and part of his headstone is visible in the sixth photo (the one of Plot III) in this post; six rows from the front, four headstones in from the left (or second headstone in from the right if you prefer) – his headstone is the only one in the plot with an anchor embem, and you can just see part of the anchor emblem in the photo. Got it? If you give me permission, I shall email you a copy of the form I mentioned if you wish (although it may be later in the week as I am away for a few days). And finally, thanks for taking the trouble to comment. It’s always appeciated.

  3. Graeme Storey says:

    Good afternoon
    My Grandfather, Able Seaman John Harrison, served in the RND – Anson Battalion(same as AB James Hutchinson). He was reported wounded on the 9th April with a gunshot wound to the head. From what I have read it would appear that the battalion transferred from billets in Engelbelmer on the 6th of April to taking over a front line position on the west embankment of the old railway that passed to the west of Aveluy wood before relieving the 1st RMLI on the 7th. Records show that the Battalion was relieved sometime on the 9th before proceeding back to Engelbelmer. I would be grateful to receive any precise information you may have as to the whereabouts og the Anson Battalion on the 9th prior relief arriving.

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