HERMIES BRITISH CEMETERY
Pas de Calais
General Directions: Hermies is a town in the Department of the Pas-de-Calais, approximately 3.5 kilometres south of the road from Bapaume to Cambrai, (N30). From the N30 take the D34 for 3.2 kilometres to its junction with the D5E where the first CWGC sign is situated. The Cemetery lies on the right side of the road 150 metres from the junction.
Hermies village was seized on the morning of the 9th April, 1917, by a surprise attack of the 2nd and 3rd Australian Infantry Battalions. It was held against the advancing Germans on the 22nd March, 1918, by the 17th Division, but evacuated on the following day; and it was retaken in September, 1918. It was later "adopted", with Havrincourt, by the County Borough of Huddersfield. The cemetery was made in April-December, 1917, by fighting units and Field Ambulances.
Victoria Cross: Buried within the cemetery in Row F.10. is Brigadier General, Roland Boys Bradford, VC, MC, 2nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry. Commanding 186th Brigade. He was killed on 30th November 1917 aged 25 years, Son of George Bradford, of Darlington, Co. Durham. His brother, James Barker Bradford also died on service.
Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," dated the 24th Nov., 1916, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery and good leadership in attack, whereby he saved the situation on the right flank of his Brigade and of the Division. Lieutenant-Colonel Bradford's' Battalion was in support. A leading Battalion having suffered very severe casualties, and the Commander wounded, its flank became dangerously exposed at close quarters to the enemy. Raked by machine-gun fire, the situation of the Battalion was critical. At the request of the wounded Commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Bradford asked permission to command the exposed Battalion in addition to his own. Permission granted, he at once proceeded to the foremost lines. By his fearless energy under fire of all description, and his skilful leadership of the two Battalions, regardless of all danger, he succeeded in rallying the attack, captured and defended the objective, and so secured the flank."
Casualty Details: UK 82, Australia 27, Total Burials: 109
Battle of Rosières (Operation Michael). Concentration of the 17th Division at Henencourt as the V Corps reserve after evacuation.
Photograph taken at Hermies, 26 March 1918.