General Directions: Marcoing is a village 7 kilometres south-west of Cambrai and the village of Masnieres is 5 kilometres south-east of Marcoing. Masnieres British Cemetery is 3 kilometres due east of Marcoing in the middle of fields with access by a small track.

Masnieres was captured by the 29th Division on the 20th November 1917, the first day of the Battle of Cambrai. On the 30th November and the 1st December, Masnieres was held by the same Division against repeated attacks, but it was evacuated, under orders, on the night of the 1st-2nd. It was retaken on the 29th September 1918, by the 62nd (West Riding) Division.

Masnieres British Cemetery was made by the 3rd Division Burial Officer in October 1918.

There are now 167, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, 17 are unidentified. All fell in September-October, 1918. There are also 59 German burials here, 40 of which are unidentified.

Masnieres British Cemetery covers an area of 995 square metres and is enclosed by a stone rubble wall.

On the main road, East of Masnieres British Cemetery, is the Masnieres Newfoundland Memorial, recalling the share of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment (then part of the 29th Division) in the Battle of Cambrai 1917.

Victoria Cross:

Lance Serjeant, Thomas Neely, VC, MM of the 8th Bn. King's Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment, he died on 01/10/1918 aged 21 and is buried in plot II.B.21., Son of James H. and Agness Neely, of 91, Claudia St., City Rd., Walton, Liverpool.

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 31067, dated 13th Dec., 1918, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery during operations at Flesquieres on 27th September, 1918. His company was held up during the advance by heavy machine-gun fire from a flank. Cpl. Neely, realising the seriousness of the situation, at once, under point-blank fire, dashed out with two men and rushed the positions, disposing of the garrisons and capturing three machine guns. Subsequently, on two successive occasions, he rushed concrete strong points, killing or capturing the occupants."

Casualty Details: UK 147, New Zealand 19, Germany 59, Total Burials: 225

1824 Private

William Howlett

1st Bn. Cambridgeshire Regiment

08/10/1918, aged  28.

Son of Robert Walter and Susannah Howlett, of 89, Becke Rd., Abbey Estate, Cambridge.

Plot II. D. 10.



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