Pas de Calais



General Directions: Gorre is a hamlet 2.5 kilometres north of Beuvry, and 4 kilometres east of Bethune. Leave Beuvry on the D72, crossing the railway and then the Canal d'Aire on the way. The Cemetery is 150 metres from the church in Gorre, to the left of the D72 (Rue de Festubert).

The chateau at Gorre was occupied early in the war by troops from the United Kingdom and India and the cemeteries, in the south-east corner of the chateau grounds, were begun in the autumn of 1914. The Indian part of the cemetery was closed in October 1915, when the Indian Corps left France.

The cemetery was used by units holding the sector until April 1918, when, in the Battles of the Lys, Gorre became a support post close behind the front line. The 55th (West Lancashire) Division, which held this front before and during the German attack, buried many of their dead in Plots V and VI. A few graves were brought into the cemetery later from near Gorre and from MESPLAUX FARM, near Locon.

There are now 934 Commonwealth casualties of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 41 of the burials are unidentified and there are special memorials to four servicemen whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. The cemetery also contains nine war graves of other nationalities, most of them German.

The cemetery was designed by Charles Henry Holden & Captain Wilfred Clement Von Berg, MC

Victoria Cross: 375499 Private Walter Mills, VC, 1st/10th Bn. Manchester Regiment, died from gas poisoning 11/12/1917. Plot V. C. 2.

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 30523, dated 12th Feb., 1918, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice. When, after an intense gas attack, a strong enemy patrol endeavoured to rush our posts, the garrisons of which had been overcome, and, though badly gassed himself, he met the attack single-handed and continued to throw bombs until the arrival of reinforcements, and remained at his post until the enemy's attacks had been finally driven off. While being carried away he died from gas poisoning. It was solely due to his exertions, when his only chance of personal safety lay in remaining motionless, that the enemy was defeated and the line retained intact."

Shot at Dawn: 307350 Private T. Hopkins, 1st/8th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers, executed for leaving his post 13/02/1918. Plot V. D. 13.

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 830, Australia 1, South Africa 2, India 96, Germany 8, France 1, Total Burials: 938





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