Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension 




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Bailleul is a large town in France, near the Belgian border, 14.5 Kms south-west of Ieper and on the main road from St. Omer to Lille. From the Grand place, take the Ieper road and 400 metres along this road is a sign indicating the direction of the cemetery. Turn down the right into a small road and follow for approximately 400 metres, the cemetery is on the right.


Opening hours:

1st APRIL to 31st OCTOBER : From 8.00 to 19.30

1st NOVEMBER to 31st MARCH : From 8.00 to 17.30

Bailleul was occupied on 14 October 1914 by the 19th Brigade and the 4th Division. It became an important railhead, air depot and hospital centre, with the 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 11th, 53rd, 1st Canadian and 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Stations quartered in it for considerable periods. It was a Corps headquarters until July 1917, when it was severely bombed and shelled, and after the Battle of Bailleul (13-15 April 1918), it fell into German hands and was not retaken until 30 August 1918.

The earliest Commonwealth burials at Bailleul were made at the east end of the communal cemetery and in April 1915, when the space available had been filled, the extension was opened on the east side of the cemetery. The extension was used until April 1918, and again in September, and after the Armistice graves were brought in from the neighbouring battlefields and the following burial grounds:-

PONT-DE-NIEPPE GERMAN CEMETERY, on the South side of the hamlet of Pont-de-Nieppe, made in the summer of 1918. It contained German graves (now removed) and those of a soldier and an airman from the United Kingdom.

RENINGHELST CHINESE CEMETERY, in a field a little South of the Poperinghe-Brandhoek road, where 30 men of the Chinese Labour Corps were buried in November 1917-March 1918.

BAILLEUL COMMUNAL CEMETERY contains 610 Commonwealth burials of the First World War; 17 of the graves were destroyed by shell fire and are represented by special memorials.

BAILLEUL COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION contains 4,403 Commonwealth burials of the First World War; 11 of the graves made in April 1918 were destroyed by shell fire and are represented by special memorials. There are also 17 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War and 154 German burials from both wars.

Both the Commonwealth plot in the communal cemetery and the extension were designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

In the centre of the town is a stone obelisk erected by the 25th Division as their Memorial on the Western front, recalling particularly the beginning of their war service at Bailleul and their part in the Battle of Messines. The town War Memorial, a copy of the ruined tower and belfry of the Church of St. Vaast, was unveiled in 1925 by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, the City which had "adopted" Bailleul.

Casualty Details: UK 3457, Canada 291, Australia 398, New Zealand 252, South Africa 1, India 5, Total Burials: 4404  (Commonwealth only)



Rank: Sergeant, Service No: 1396, Date of Death: 12/01/1917, Age: 27, Regiment/Service: Royal Flying Corps 20th Sqdn. , Awards: V C, D C M, Grave Reference III. A. 126., Son of Thomas and Lucy Mottershead, of Widnes; husband of Lilian Medlicott Mottershead, of 31, Lilac Avenue, Widnes, Lancs.

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 29937, dated 9th Feb., 1917, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery, endurance and skill, when attacked at an altitude of 9,000 feet; the petrol tank was pierced and the machine set on fire. Enveloped in flames, which his Observer, Lt. Gower was unable to subdue, this very gallant soldier succeeded in bringing his aeroplane back to our lines, and though he made a successful landing, the machine collapsed on touching the ground, pinning him beneath wreckage from which he was subsequently rescued. Though suffering extreme torture from burns, Serjt. Mottershead showed the most conspicuous presence of mind in the careful selection of a landing place, and his wonderful endurance and fortitude undoubtedly saved the life of his Observer. He has since succumbed to his injuries."


Sergeant Mottershead's Distinguished Conduct Medal

One of his first operations was low-level bombing raid on a German anti-aircraft battery which he successfully destroyed. On 22 September, with Second Lieutenant C. Street as observer he bombed the railway station at Samain, destroying one ammunition train and strafing another. While climbing away from the target, their aircraft was attacked by a Fokker scout. Accounts of the engagement indicate that it was Mottershead's skilful manoeuvring which enabled Street to shoot the enemy aircraft down. For this action and other displays of gallantry, Sergeant Mottershead was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and promoted to the rank of Flight Sergeant.



Flying goggles worn by Sergeant Thomas Mottershead (20 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps) on his final mission on the Western Front during the First World War. Flying over Ploegsteert (Belgium) on 7 January 1917 his FE2d aircraft was attacked by enemy scouts, hit and caught fire. During the combat Sergeant Mottershead manoeuvred his machine in such a way as to prevent the flames harming his observer, Lieutenant Gower, and although in great pain, flew the aircraft safely back over British lines. However, the badly damaged FE2d collapsed on landing, throwing Lieutenant Gower clear, but trapping Mottershead in the burning wreckage. He died in hospital at Bailleul (France) on 12 January 1917 as result of his injuries. For his gallant and selfless action in saving the life of his observer Sergeant Mottershead was awarded the Victoria Cross. His was the only Victoria Cross to be awarded to a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) during the First World War

Side view of the F.E.2d




Sergeant Mottershead was piloting a Farman Experimental (D) Bi-plane when he was attacked, the picture to the left shows an F. E.2d observer demonstrating the use of the rear-firing Lewis gun, which required him to stand on the rim of his cockpit. Note the camera, and the (non-standard) extra Lewis gun for the pilot.

The final F. E. 2 production model was the F.E.2d (386 built) which was powered by a Rolls-Royce Eagle engine with 250 hp (186 kW). While the more powerful engine made little difference in maximum speed, especially at low altitude, it did improve altitude performance, with an extra 10 mph at 5,000 ft. The Rolls-Royce engine also improved payload, so that in addition to the two observer's guns, an additional one or two Lewis guns could be mounted to fire forward, operated by the pilot. At least two F.E.2bs were fitted with 150 hp (110 kW) RAF 5 engines (a pusher version of the RAF 4 engine) in 1916, but no production followed. The F.E.2h was an F.E.2 powered by a 230 hp (170 kW) Siddeley Puma. The prototype (A6545) was converted in February 1918 by Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies in the hope of producing a night fighter with superior performance. When tested at Martlesham Heath, however, it proved to be much slower than expected, reaching 81.5 mph (131.2 km/h) instead of the predicted 100 mph (160 km/h), little better than the F.E.2b. Despite this, three more aircraft were converted to F.E.2h standard, these being fitted with a six-pounder (57 mm) Davis gun mounted to fire downwards for ground attack purposes.





817 Private

William Stanley Allars

39th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

02/05/1917, aged 21.

Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension (Nord)

Son of Alfred Charles and Emily Ann Allars.

Native of St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia.

Plot III. B. 25.


Survived by his brother Sydney George Allars, 

Private 816 also wounded. 39th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

Brothers who served together




8442 Serjeant

Robert Leggat

9th Bn. Cameronians, (Scottish Rifles)


Plot II. B. 46.


Robbie was a Serjeant in the 9th Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) and was a professional soldier having enlisted prior to 1906. He was killed on 29 or 30 March 1916 while leading his men when a hand grenade blew up in his hand. His grave is at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension.


Picture courtesy of great niece, Maureen Drake






50987 Private

William Oliver

11th Bn. Cheshire Regiment

16/06/1917, aged 28.

Son of Samuel and Elizabeth Oliver, of Thornbury;

husband of Elsie May Oliver, of Forda,

Thornbury, Brandis Corner, Devon.

Plot III. D. 33.


Picture courtesy of Derek Whittall




1076 Corporal

George Wall

1st Bn. Monmouthshire Regiment

28/04/1915, aged 39.

Husband of M. E. Williams (formerly Wall),

of 95, Lower Rd., Cwmsyfiog, New Tredegar, Mon.

Plot I. D. 25.



Picture courtesy of grandson Oriel G. Bayliss




71948 Driver

James Reed

"C" Bty. 113th Bde,

Royal Field Artillery

04/12/1915, aged 19.

Plot I. F. 21


Picture courtesy of great nephew, David Spowart



14/4478 Rifleman

Albert Edward Cox

14th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles

21/04/1917, aged 19.

Son of Fred and Annie Cox,

of 123, Whitehorse Rd., Croydon, Surrey.

Plot III. B. 95.


Picture courtesy of Elaine Wenn





Shot at Dawn:

26028 Private, John Rogers, 2nd Bn. South Lancashire Regiment, executed for desertion on 09/03/1917. Plot III. A. 3. Husband of Harriett Rogers, of 34, Luke Street, Liverpool.

2408 Private, William W. Roberts, 4th Bn. Royal Fusiliers, executed for desertion on 29/05/1916. Plot II. B. 110.

17790 Lance Corporal, William Alfred Moon, 11th Bn. Cheshire Regiment, executed for desertion on 21/11/1916, aged 20. Plot III. A. 219. Son of Mrs. M. Moon, of 5, Blue Coat School, Chester.

The mass pardon of 306 British Empire soldiers executed for certain offences during the Great War was enacted in section 359 of the Armed Forces Act 2006, which came into effect on royal assent on 8 November 2006.





957 Private

Thomas Moses Wilkinson

33rd Bn. Australian Infantry,

A. I. F

09/07/1917, aged 33.

Plot III. C. 125.

Private THOMAS MOSES WILKINSON was the youngest son of William and Hannah Wilkinson. Tom joined C Coy 33rd Infantry Battalion A. I. F. on 22nd February 1916 and his service number was 957.    Tom was 5 feet 6 1/4 inches tall and weighed 10 stone 9lbs. His age was 31 yrs 7 months, had grey eyes and light red hair, his occupation was a share farmer and he lived at ATTUNGA northern N.S.W.

 Tom embarked from Sydney per H.M.A.T. A74 "Marathon" on 4th May 1916, and disembarked at Devonport on 9th July 1916.  On 21st November 1916 he proceeded to France with his Battalion from Southampton. Tom suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach during fierce fighting in the field on 7th June 1917 and was admitted the same day to the 53rd casualty clearing station. Tom died on the 9th June 1917, the day after his 33rd birthday, and is buried at the Bailleul Communal Extension Cemetery, France.


Pictures and information courtesy of great, great niece, Lesley McNee




2035 Private

John William Edwards

7th Bn. Durham Light Infantry

25/05/1915, aged 25.

Plot I. F. 80.


He died of wounds on 24 May 1915, 1st/7th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. He was the son of John William EDWARDS snr., deceased, and Jane Bewick (nee SCOTT), and was born at 38 East Holborn, South Shields, Durham on 13 May 1890. He left a wife, Mary Eleanor, a daughter, Mary Eleanor aged nearly 3 and another daughter, Florence May aged 7 months. The photo at Bailleul was taken by his great-great-granddaughter, Michelle, on a trip to Europe from Australia in 2002 and she is believed to be the first family member to visit his grave.

Pictures courtesy of Robert and William Smith






A/449 Private

Francis John Duckett

1st Bn. Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario Regiment)

Died of wounds 16/03/1916, aged 28.

Son of John J. and M. A. Duckett, of 39, Chaddock St., Preston, England.

Plot II. C. 201

Picture courtesy of John Garlington



30824 Private

George Dean

7th Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment

04/06/1917, aged 22.

Son of William and Amelia Dean, of Back 72, Green Lane, Walsall.

Plot III. B. 221.


Picture courtesy of great nephew, Andrew Cowley





108084 Private

James Bartlett

2nd Bn. Canadian Mounted Rifles.

Died of wounds 05/02/1916

Plot II. C. 114

Pictures courtesy of Gary Westhora, Mission, British Columbia




39728 Gunner

William James Munro

405th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery

29/07/1917, aged 28.

Plot III. D. 284.

Pictures courtesy of great granddaughter, Linda Cane




1918. The grave of 141 Private (Pte) William Marshall in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul, France. Pte Marshall of Adelaide SA, enlisted in the 27th Battalion on 4 February 1915. A grocer prior to enlisting, he embarked from Adelaide on board HMAT Geelong (A2) on 31 May 1915. He arrived with the 27th Battalion at Gallipoli in September 1915 and remained until the evacuation in December. In March 1916 the Battalion was sent to France for service on the Western Front. Pte Marshall was wounded in action in France on 29 June 1916 and died of his wounds the next morning. He was 20 years of age.



1203 Private

Arthur Wharmby

26th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

06/04/1916, aged 20.

Son of Moses and Celia Jane Wharmby.

Plot II. D. 215.

From New Town, Tasmania. A carpenter before enlisting in April 1915, Pte Wharmby left Australia as an original member of the 26th Battalion in June 1915 for service in the Middle East and the Western Front.

He was in France for less than a month before he died from cerebro-spinal fever on 6 April 1916, aged 20.



WW2 Graves


German Graves


2456 Private

William Watson

17th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

04/05/1916, aged 27.

Born: 15/09/1888 Scotland; Youngest child of Alexander & Eliza (nee Clark) Watson.

Died: 04/05/1916, No.3 Casualty Clearing Station, France, of gunshot wounds to the chest. Occupation: Tailor, Guyra, NSW

Plot II. D. 11.

Following the death of his father, Great-uncle Willie and his older brother Alex came to Australia in 1909 to establish themselves so that they could bring their mother and two sisters, ( the youngest being my Grandmother), to Australia. Alex settled some land in Nowendoc, NSW and Willie set up business as a tailor in Guyra, NSW. His mum and sisters were on their way to Australia when war was declared in 1914. He enlisted in Sydney 21/7/1915; embarked 5/10/1915; embarked Egypt 17/3/1916 and disembarked in Marseilles, France 23/3/1916. He was wounded in action 3/5/1916 and died 4/5/1916.

Picture courtesy of Carmen Kliendienst



G/1207 Coy. Sergeant Major Walter Annis

6th Bn. The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)

26/07/1915, aged 39.

Plot I. C. 91.

Son of Robert and Elizabeth Anniss of Isleworth, Middlesex

Born: 26 February, 1876


Served as a Colour-Sergeant in the 1st Battalion, The Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment during the Anglo-Boer War. Married Emily Annie Bolton on 4 August, 1911. They had two children Robert Walter, born 23 May, 1912 and Annie Evelyn, born 7 May, 1914.

Died of wounds: 26 July, 1915

He was entitled to the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, the Queen’s South Africa Medal (4 clasps), The King’s South Africa Medal (2 clasps), the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal, the Victory Medal, the 1903 Delhi Durbar Medal.


Picture courtesy of Edward Garcia



14587 Private

Ernest Allen

"D" Coy. 2nd Bn, Duke of Wellington's

(West Riding Regiment)

06/05/1915, aged 19.

Son of Isaiah and Annie Allen, of 12, Brook St., Fryston, Castleford, Yorks.

Plot II. A. 132.


(Ernest is in uniform on the right of the picture)


Picture courtesy of George Allen





Second Lieutenant

Homer Warring Laird

Royal Flying Corps.


Plot III. E. 115. (Extension)

His father Henry Willoughby Laird, lieutenant colonel, CEF, and at the start of the war; major in the Army Service Corps and brother Lieutenant William Clarence Laird, CEF, both survived the war. They will always be remembered and in our family's thought and prayers.

Picture courtesy of Jousette Giffen, great, great niece


The Cemetery in 1916