CORBIE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION
General Directions: Corbie is a small town 15 kilometres east of Amiens. Go north from the town centre taking the D1 (Rue Gambetta) in the direction of Bray. You will arrive at a set of traffic lights with the hospital diagonally on your left. Continue, taking the second turning on your right onto the Rue des Longues Vignes (VC6). The cemetery lies about 800 metres on the left.
Corbie was about 20 kilometres behind the front when Commonwealth forces took over the line from Berles-au-Bois southward to the Somme in July 1915. The town immediately became a medical centre, with Nos 5 and 21 Casualty Clearing Stations based at La Neuville (the suburb across the Ancre) until October 1916 and April 1917 respectively. In November 1916 the front moved east, but the German advance in the Spring of 1918 came within 10 kilometres of the town and brought with it field ambulances of the 47th Division and the 12th Australian Field Ambulance. The communal cemetery was used for burials until May 1916, when the plot set aside was filled and the extension opened. The majority of the graves in the extension are of officers and men who died of wounds in the 1916 Battle of the Somme. The remainder relate to the fighting of 1918. The communal cemetery contains 249 First World War burials, the extension 918. The extension was designed by Charles Henry Holden.
Victoria Cross: Major William La Touche Congreve, VC. DSO. MC. Mentioned in Despatches. Rifle Brigade, killed in action 20/07/1916, aged 25. Plot I. F. 35. Legion of Honour. Son of Lt.-Gen. Sir Walter Congreve, V.C., K.C.B., M.V.O., and Lady Congreve, of Chartley Castle, Staffs.; husband of Pamela Congreve, of 15, Queen Anne's Gate, London.
Citation: An extract from the London Gazette, dated 24th October, 1916 records the following: "For most conspicuous bravery during a period of fourteen days preceding his death in action. This officer constantly performed acts of gallantry and showed the greatest devotion to duty, and by his personal example inspired all those around him with confidence at critical periods of the operations. During preliminary preparations for the attack he carried out personal reconnaissance's of the enemy lines, taking out parties of officers and non- commissioned officers for over 1,000 yards in front of our line, in order to acquaint them with the ground. All these preparations were made under fire. Later, by night, Major Congreve conducted a battalion to its position of employment, afterwards returning to it to ascertain the situation after assault. He established himself in an exposed forward position from where he successfully observed the enemy, and gave orders necessary to drive them from their position. Two days later, when Brigade Headquarters was heavily shelled and many casualties resulted, he went out and assisted the medical officer to remove the wounded to places of safety, although he was himself suffering severely from gas and other shell effects. He again on a subsequent occasion showed supreme courage in tending wounded under heavy shell fire. He finally returned to the front line to ascertain the situation after an unsuccessful attack, and whilst in the act of writing his report, was shot and killed instantly."
Shot at Dawn: 21373 Private J. Carey, 7th Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers executed 15/09/1916 for desertion. Plot 2. C. 86.
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.
Casualty Details: UK 831, Australia 58, South Africa 27, Germany 1, Total Burials: 917
The cemetery pictured above in a postcard from the 1930's.
7th Bn. King's Shropshire Light Infantry
22/08/1916, aged 38.
Son of Eunice Griffiths, of 25, Crown Yard; Little Dawley, Dawley, Shropshire.
Plot 2. B. 102.
Picture courtesy of Dave Shaw
9th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders
18/06/1916, aged 24.
Son of William and Elizabeth Type, of 8, Garth Terrace, Penyard, Merthyr Tydfil.
Plot 1. B. 1.
Picture courtesy of Jim Type
6017 Company Serjeant Major
7th Bn. East Lancashire Regiment
08/07/1916, aged 33.
Hisband of Mrs Richardson, 9, Cedar Street, Burnley.
Plot 1. B. 53.
"C" Bty. 158th Bde.
Royal Field Artillery
05/08/1916, aged 33.
Son of Mrs. and the late Mr. Richard Riley, of Hambleton, Poulton-le-Fylde, Preston.
Plot 2. A. 48.