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CWGC: Loos Memorial and Dud Corner Cemetery

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Loos Memorial and Dud Corner Cemetery


Image right By Wernervc - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Loos Memorial

The Loos Memorial commemorates 20,605 British officers and men who have no known grave who were killed from 25th September 1915 to the end of the war in November 1918 in the battle sector between the river Lys in French Flanders and the village of Grenay, near Lens, in Artois.

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The Loos Memorial to the Missing forms the rear and the two sides of Dud Corner Cemetery. The thousands of names of the servicemen missing in action with no known grave are inscribed on 139 stone panels attached to these side and rear walls.

On either side of the cemetery is a wall 15 feet high, to which are fixed tablets on which are carved the names of those commemorated. At the back are four small circular courts, open to the sky, in which the lines of tablets are continued, and between these courts are three semicircular walls or apses, two of which carry tablets, while on the centre apse is erected the Cross of Sacrifice.

The memorial was designed by Sir Herbert Baker with sculpture by Charles Wheeler. It was unveiled by Sir Nevil Macready on 4 August 1930.

Dud Corner Cemetery, Loos

- 684 Identified Casualties

The name "Dud Corner" is believed to be due to the large number of unexploded enemy shells found in the neighbourhood after the Armistice. The only burials here during hostilities were those of four Officers of the 9th Black Watch and one Private of the 8th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, close to Plot III, Row B; the remainder of the graves were brought in later from isolated positions near Loos and to the North, and from certain small cemeteries, including:-

Tosh Cemetery, Loos

Was on the North side of the village, close to the communication trench called Tosh Alley. It contained the graves of 171 soldiers from the United Kingdom (118 of whom were Irish) and five from Canada. It was used from October 1915 to September 1917.

Crucifix Cemetery, Loos

Was a little West of Tosh Cemetery. It was used from September 1915 to May 1916, and it contained the graves of 53 soldiers from the United Kingdom.

Le Rutoire British Cemetery, Vermeules

Was close to Le Rutoire Farm, which is on Loos Plain, near the village of Vermelles. It was used in 1915, and contained the graves of 82 soldiers from the United Kingdom and six French soldiers.

There are now nearly 2,000, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in the Dud Corner Cemetery site. Of these, over half are unidentified and special headstones have been erected to 15 soldiers from the United Kingdom who are believed to be buried among them. The great majority of the dead buried here fell in the Battle of Loos 1915; but some were killed in succeeding years. Originally, the regimental memorials for the following units were brought into the cemetery:-

10th Scottish Rifles and the 17th London Regiment, dating from the Battle of Loos, and those of the Royal Montreal Regiment and the Royal Highlanders of Canada, dating from the Battle of Hill 70 in August 1917. These memorials were later removed.

Special memorials are erected in this Cemetery to twelve soldiers of the 2nd Welch Regiment, killed in action on the 12th October 1915, and buried in Crucifix Cemetery, Loos, whose graves could not be found on concentration.

The Dud Corner cemetery now covers an area of 5,550 square metres, and is bounded by a low rubble wall except on the road side, where the War Stone is raised on a grass terrace and flanked by buildings.

Notable Commemoratees Loos Memorial

Three posthumous Victoria Cross recipients are commemorated on this memorial under their respective regiments:

  • Lieutenant-Colonel Angus Douglas-Hamilton VC. Commanding 6th Bn. Cameron Highlanders, killed in action 26/09/1915, aged 52. Panel 119-124.
  • Private George Peachment VC. 2nd Bn. King's Royal Rifle Corps, killed in action 25/09/1915, aged 18. Panel 101 and 102
  • Captain Anketell Moutray Read, VC, Royal Flying Corps and 1st Bn. Northamptonshire Regiment, he died on 25th September 1915. Plot VII. F. 19

Also commemorated on the Loos memorial are:

  • Scots rugby international Second Lieutenant Walter Michael Dickson
  • England rugby international Second Lieutenant Douglas Lambert.
  • British Member of Parliament Second Lieutenant The Hon. Charles Thomas Mills.
  • War Poet Lieutenant Charles Sorley
  • Wales rugby international Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Garnons Williams.

Shot at Dawn:

  • G/12341 Private William Bowerman, 1st Bn. Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment, executed for desertion on 24/03/1917, aged 38. Panel 65 to 67.
  • 43499 Private Thomas Foulkes, 1st/10th Bn. Manchester Regiment, executed for desertion on 21/11/1917, aged 21. Panel 103.

Notable Commemoratees - Dud Corner Cemetery

  • Second Lieutenant Frank Wearne VC. 3rd Bn. Attached 10th Bn. Essex Regiment, died of wounds 28/06/1917, aged 23. Panel 85-87.
  • Serjeant Harry Wells, VC. 2nd Bn. Royal Sussex Regiment, he was killed on 25th September 1915. Plot V. E. 2.

Dud Corner Cemetery and The Loos Memorial - Roll of Honour

References and Sources