General Directions: Rocquigny and Equancourt are two villages in the Department of the Somme, some 13 kilometres north of Peronne and 12 kilometres south-east of Bapaume. Rocquigny and Equancourt are approximately 8 kilometres apart and the Rocquigny-Equancourt British Cemetery lies about halfway between the two villages on the north side of the road just west of the crossing road from Etricourt to Ytres.

Etricourt was occupied by Commonwealth troops at the beginning of April 1917 during the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line. It was lost on the 23 March 1918 when the Germans advanced, but regained at the beginning of September.

The cemetery was begun in 1917 and used until March 1918, mainly by the 21st and 48th Casualty Clearing Stations posted at Ytres, and to a small extent by the Germans, who knew it as "Etricourt Old English Cemetery". Burials were resumed by Commonwealth troops in September 1918 and the 3rd Canadian and 18th Casualty Clearing Stations buried in it in October and November 1918.

The cemetery contains 1,838 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 21 of the burials are unidentified and nine Commonwealth graves made by the Germans which cannot now be found are represented by special memorials. The cemetery also contains 198 German war burials and the graves of ten French civilians.

The cemetery was designed by
 Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Victoria Cross: Serjeant John Harold Rhodes, VC. DCM and bar. 3rd Bn. Grenadier Guards, died 27/11/1917, aged 26. Plot III. E. 1.

CitationAn extract from "The London Gazette," No. 30400, dated 23rd Nov., 1917, records the following:- For most conspicuous bravery when in charge of a Lewis gun section covering the consolidation of the right front company. He accounted for several enemy with his rifle as well as by Lewis gun fire, and, upon seeing three enemy leave a "pill-box," he went out single handed through our own barrage and hostile machine-gun fire, and effected an entry into the "pill-box." He there captured nine enemy including a forward observation officer connected by telephone with his battery. These prisoners he brought back with him, together with valuable information.

Shot at Dawn: 200945 Private Joseph Bateman, 2nd Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment, executed for desertion 03/12/1917. Plot VI. A. 27. Husband of Florence May Bateman, of 7a, Vauxhall Street, Dudley.

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 1766, Canada 34, Australia 5, New Zealand 21, South Africa 12, Germany 198, France 10, Total Burials: 2046






Private Francis Ratcliffe

893rd Mechanical Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps.

Accidentally killed 04/01/1918, aged 20.

Son of Charles and Elizabeth Ratcliffe, of 20, Glover St., Preston, Lancs. Native of Burnley.

Plot IX. B. 30

Picture courtesy of John Garlington


249443 Sapper

Lewis Howell Giles

38th Div. Signal Company,

Royal Engineers

12/10/1918, aged 24.

Picture courtesy of Suzanne Townsend,  great niece of this soldier

4646 Airman 1st Class

John Thomas Gadd

No.3 Sqdn. Royal Flying Corps.

30/09/1917, aged 21.

Son of Thomas and Jane Gadd, of 125, Winson Green Rd., Birmingham.

He was killed whilst acting as an observer on a training formation flying flight on September 30th 1917, when his plane piloted by Lt. Victor Joseph Woodcock crashed out of control.

                    John is now buried at Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery in Grave I. D. 20. with his pilot buried alongside in Grave I. D. 19.


266969 Private
William Metcalfe
2nd/4th Bn. Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)
Plot II. F. 23.
Born in Long Preston, Yorkshire

Picture courtesy of great nephew, Alan Metcalfe.


Victor Joseph Woodcock

3rd Sqdn. Royal Flying Corps.

30/09/1917, aged 21.

Son of George Redfern Woodcock and Harriet Eliza Woodcock, of "Ravenscroft," The Drive, Roundhay, Leeds.

 Under Graduate Leeds University, Science (Engineering).

Plot I. D. 19.

He was killed whilst piloting a training formation flying flight on September 30th 1917. The plane crashed out of control. He was aged 21. Victor was 2 years into an engineering course at Leeds University and was intending to candidate for the Methodist Ministry. His Captain said of him "Though only with us eight days, he made his mark". Victor is buried at Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery in Plot I. D. 19 with his Observer, John Thomas Gadd buried beside him in Plot I. D. 20.


Picture courtesy of Gillian Horn, great niece of Victor Woodcock



Used with permission



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