Beneath the trees at the north eastern edge of Thiepval Wood, this is Connaught Cemetery.
And this is one of two cemetery entrances – I reckon there’s just enough time for a brief look around.
Stone of Remembrance.
The cemetery was begun in the autumn of 1916 and by the end of the war 228 burials had been made here. The original graves are all now directly behind the Stone of Remembrance in Plot I.
Panning across the cemetery from left…
…to right, you can see how much it was increased in size post-war, as men were brought in from isolated battlefield graves and smaller cemeteries.
Plot I (the five rows nearest the camera). Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that every identified headstone legible in this picture is inscribed with just one date (click to enlarge, of course).
Cross of Sacrifice.
Plot V, a single long row of headstones along the northern boundary wall,…
…with the Ulster Memorial Tower in the background.
Here, courtesy of our friends at the CWGC, is the cemetery plan.
Looking east from the north west corner of the cemetery, the rear of the headstones of Plot V nearest the camera.
Special memorials along the cemetery wall,…
…and a Duhallow Block,…
…remember five British soldiers once buried in Divion Road Cemetery No.2.
Half of the nearly 1300 burials here are unidentified.
Walking slowly along the rows of headstones nearest the western boundary,…
…we find two more memorials, this time to men ‘believed to be buried in this cemetery’.
Like Plot V at the far end of the cemetery, Plot XIII at the southern end is also one long line of headstones…
…split into sections of ten.
View from the east corner of the cemetery looking west, Plot XIII to the left,…
…and looking east across the cemetery wall towards the Thiepval Memorial from the same position. In front of the trees in the centre, you can see the 18th Division Memorial, which has caused me no end of troubles on my visits ( I still have yet to get a decent shot of it – check out the Thiepval Memorial post if you haven’t already – and it’s hardly as if it runs off and hides whenever I’m in the vicinity. Hopeless.).
Members of another coach tour head up the track towards another cemetery beneath the trees on the horizon.
I have a plan. I’ve no idea where my lot are – hopefully having a cuppa at the tower – as opposed to sitting in a coach waiting for me – so I think I’d better tag along with this group – they’ll never notice – if I’m going to get a look at Mill Road Cemetery before we leave.
Looking back towards Connaught Cemetery and Thiepval Wood, from the track leading to Mill Road Cemetery.
Addendum: The photo below has been added in response to a comment from June Godwin, whose Great Uncle, Private Albert Edward Green, Royal Marine Light Infantry, was killed on 5th February 1917 near here, and is buried between two of his colleagues in Plot VIII Row A. I have highlighted his headstone in orange.