Thursday, 12 November 2009

Beaumont Hamel, The Somme, France

Beaumont Hamel British Cemetery on the Somme has brick entrance pillars by the gateway, but otherwise a low hedge surrounds the cemetery (although behind this on the field side at the back and the right of the Cemetery is a very low concrete wall, presumably for structural reasons). The Cemetery, standing in the old No Mans Land, was started after the village was taken on the 13th of November 1916, and was used until February 1917. As with many other cemeteries, more graves were moved here after the Armistice.

It now contains 97 identified and 82 unidentified burials from the Great War, in two long rows of graves. Many of the burials are 1st of July casualties. There are two special memorials to men known to be buried here, which are located directly behind the Cross of Sacrifice at the back of the cemetery.

Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Memorial

A grass track from this cemetery takes you to Hawthorn Cemetery where the Memorial to the 8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders stands.  The front panel has an inscription in Gaelic - a small panel lists the 1915 51st (Highland) Division battle honours - on the rear of the memorial a large panel is that of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders - a small panel on the front left, lists the 1917 51st (Highland) Division battle honours.

The Newfoundland Memorial
At Beaumont-Hamel there is also the Newfoundland Memorial, a memorial site dedicated to the commemoration of Dominion of Newfoundland forces members who were killed during World War I. The site is situated 9 kilometres north of Albert, France near the town of Beaumont-Hamel in an area containing numerous cemeteries and memorials related to the Battle of the Somme. The preserved battlefield park encompasses the grounds over which the Newfoundland Regiment made their unsuccessful attack on 1 July, 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. The Battle of the Somme was the regiment's first major engagement and during an assault that lasted approximately 30 minutes was all but wiped out. Purchased by the people of Newfoundland, the site is the largest battalion memorial on the Western Front and the largest area of the Somme battlefield that has been preserved. Along with preserved trench lines, there are a number of memorials and cemeteries contained within the site.

Please also note that at least one of 'our' soldiers who died at Beaumont Hamel is buried in Maily Wood Cemetery, France.

Three of above photographs taken by Morag Sutherland and Shirley Sutherland.

No comments:

Post a Comment