Longueau British Cemetery, on the outskirts of Amiens.
I’d hoped to visit this little cemetery at some point, but it was late in the day, we were heading back to the hotel, and were on the wrong road anyway. I was just bemoaning the fact to Baldrick that I’d maybe never get round to visiting it when, lo! and behold, there it was! So we weren’t, as it turned out, on the wrong road. Well, we were, you understand, but not in terms of finding the cemetery.
Longueau is now a south eastern suburb of Amiens that, if you look at a map, is rather curiously detached from the city, surrounded as it is by the valley of the Somme to the north and the Avre to the west and south, and part of the Amiens ring road, the N25, to the east.
On entering the cemetery, the first five rows comprise Plot II, as you can see from the cemetery plan, courtesy of the CWGC.
There’s evidence of later fighting here.
You fear for the unfortunate individual crouched behind this headstone as bullets searched him (or her) out. British, German, French Resistance? Who knows. A forgotten life-or-death incident of World War II.
Plot I. The cemetery was begun in April 1918, as the desperate fighting to contain the German advance continued.
Plot III. The cemetery was used until August…
…by which time it contained just under 170 burials. Post-war, Plot IV (above) was added as men were brought here from battlefield graves, and two other nearby burial grounds. Two World War II graves can be seen on the far right.
Unusual sandstone headstone of an early R.A.F. casualty in Plot IV.
Fourteen of the burials here are unidentified, the majority, unsurprisingly, also in Plot IV.
Panning across Plot I (above & below).
There’s a lot of bullet damage, if you look carefully, to these headstones.
Longueau British Cemetery is rarely visited, apart from the occasional relative of one of the men buried here, and the CWGC official whose remit presumably includes this cemetery.
But I’m glad we went there.