IN MEMORy by Pierre Vandervelden

The visit of Commonwealth graves in Communals Cemeteries & Churchyards in Belgium & France

WANCOURT British Cemetery (Pas de Calais France)

Page 1 The Pictures

Page 2 List of Casualties

Pte John Archibald McCallum 26/08/1918 aged 42
for his grandson Mike Corless ( Albuquerque, New Mexico USA)
Pte Joseph Hurst 09/04/1917 aged 34
for his grandson John Hurst (U.K.)
Article from The Evening Express (5th May 1917):
Pte Joseph Hurst, K. L. R., Age: 34, who
was killed in action on April 9, 1917
resided at 11, Chalmers-street, Edgehill,
He served one year and ten months in
The K. O. R. L.
He was wounded on July 19 1916, and
after treatment in Sheffield Hospital
returned to France and was wounded
again on January 7, 1917.
He was in Hospital again up to March
25 th.
'Roll of Honour' at the Rememberance Hall at the Liverpool Town Hall.

18TH Bn
9TH APRIL 1917.


My Grandfather was a one of those lads who enthusiastically joined up in 1914. He was originally in the Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment which was shipped over in 1915.
He was first wounded on July 19th 1916 and on returning to the France was transferred into the 18th Bn Kings (Liverpool)Regiment, which was probably his first choice as he was probably aquainted with many of the lads there, but due to the huge numbers wanting to join all battalions were full. Ironically, the 18th was also the battalion of my Grandfather on my mothers side who was wounded by gas but survived the war but died prematurely due to the wounds. Though they weren’t related by marriage then. He was wounded again on January 7th 1917 and was in Sheffield Hospital , returning on 25th March 1917, when the build-up for the big offensive was being prepared.

The 18th were to form on the left of 21st Brigade , with the 2nd Wiltshires on the right.
This was part of 30th Division which also consisted of 19th Kings(Liverpool)to the right of 21st Brigade. The 18th relieved 17th Manchesters on 7th April on the St Martin-sur-Cojeul-Neuville Vitasse road. 89th Brigage were charged with the capture of St Martin-sur-Cojeul while 21st were to co-operate by attacking two strongly held mills on 8/9th April. St Martin was captured but the two mills could not be taken. The 20th Kings took part in the attack. On the morning of the 9th 21st Brigade had been ordered not to attack until Neuville-Vitasse had been taken. It was taken at 11:38am and the 21st was ordered to advance. Made more diffcult by the loss of the element of surprise. The capture of Saint-Martin-sur-Cojeul had made their task that much easier, but their task was the Neuvell-Vitasse Trench and The Egg (a small redoubt of considerable strength) and a mass of communications trenches which formed part of the switch line on the Brigade front. The southern boundary being Nepal and Natal trenches and the Lion Lane trench and Zoo trench which lay in 56 Division area. If not taken these trenches were likely to give infinite trouble to attacking forces. These were protected by powerful entanglements behind The Egg. But the greatest danger were the were the targets they would encounter as they advanced over 2000 yards of open countryside, like the two mills,etc. The Kings and 2nd Wilts advanced witth the 19th Manchesters and 2nd Green Howards in support.
They advanced in good order with intervals and direction well maintained. Across the advance lay two sunken lanes, the first being the Henin-Neuville-Vitasse road and the second St Martin-Neuville-Vitasse road. Due to German opposition forward of the two sunken roads it was found necessary to deploy under constant artillery fire. On gaining position immediately in front of the German lines it was found that the wire was practically uncut. This wire formed two strong belts in front of the German trenches so Capt.R.W.Jones began the job of consolidating in front of the wire and held on all that day until relieved by the 16th Manchesters at about 3am. All that time under continuous machine gun and rifle fire. That was the end of the 1st Battle of the Scarpe for the 18th Bn.
Which suffered many casualties among them my Grandfather.

John Hurst 16.02.2006

Rfm Arthur Herbert Goodwin 29/04/1917 aged 37
Arthur left a wife Hilda and sons Arthur and Sidney.
For Andy Pepper.
Pte Alfred Edward Morton 09/04/1917 aged 32
for his grandson Charles Birch
Pte Robert Dann 1891 - 09/04/1917
Robert was born in Ripe, a small village in East Sussex, trained initially as a Blacksmith, was married to Edith Maud in 1915.
He joined the Army in 1916, went to France in 01/1917 and was killed in action.
for his great nephew Robert Dann
Pte William Geraghty 30/05/1917
for his great grandson Matthew McNally
William with his wife Louise (nee Barber) , daughter Norah and son William (Matthew's grandfather)

IF You have a casualty picture, please send me a copy, I'll be glad to show it on this page.

IF You want a king size copy of this picture (300/900 ko - 2592/1944 pixels) please e-mail me.

Casualties informations come usualy from Commonwealth War Graves Commission, see links for more informations © Pierre Vandervelden - Belgium