TROIS ARBRES CEMETERY
Steenwerck is a village on the D77 about 6 kilometres south-east of Bailleul, and to the east of the road from Bailleul to Estaires. The Cemetery is situated to the north-east midway between the village and the main road from Bailleul to Armentieres and north of the recently built motorway.
Steenwerck village remained untouched for much of the First World War, but on 10 April 1918 it was captured by the Germans and remained in their possession until the beginning of October. Trois-Arbres passed into German hands a day later than Steenwerck, after a rearguard defence by the 34th Division.
The site for Trois Arbres Cemetery was chosen for the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station in July 1916, and Plot 1 and the earlier rows of Plot II, were made and used by that hospital until April 1918. A few further burials were made in the cemetery after the German withdrawal at the end of 1918 and after the Armistice, over 700 graves were brought into it from the battlefields of Steenwerck, Nieppe, Bailleul and Neuve-Eglise.
Graves from the following graveyards were concentrated into Trois-Arbres Cemetery: DOUANE CEMETERY, NEUVE-EGLISE, at the Custom House on the road from Neuve-Eglise to Nieppe, contained the graves of 15 soldiers from Canada and four from the United Kingdom who fell in 1915-16.
FORTRIE FARM CEMETERY, NEUVE-EGLISE, 1.6Kms West of the hamlet of Le Romarin, contained the graves of 27 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in November and December 1914.
LINEN FACTORY CEMETERY, BAC-ST. MAUR. This was a row of graves in Steenwerck commune, in the angle formed by the river Lys, the road from Bac-St. Maur to Croix-du-Bac, and Edwards's Linen Factory. In it were buried 20 soldiers from the United Kingdom, one from India and seven Germans.
There are now 1,704 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 435 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to ten casualties known or believed to be buried among them. The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker
Casualty Details: UK 997, Canada 22, Australia 470, New Zealand 213, South Africa 1, India 1, Total Burials: 1704
Shot at Dawn: 2267 Corporal George W. Latham, 2nd Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers, executed for desertion 22/01/1915, aged 23. Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Latham, of Islington, London; husband of Elizabeth Mary Latham, of 5/69, Great Lister St., Nechells, Birmingham.. Plot II. F. 17.
Shot at Dawn: 23621 Private Fortunat Auger, 14th Bn. Canadian Infantry, executed for desertion 26/03/1916, aged 25. Plot III. H. 5.
Shot at Dawn: 6744 Private Peter Black, 1st/7th Bn. Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), executed for desertion 18/09/1916. Plot I. B. 1.
Shot at Dawn: 6/1598 Private John King, 1st Bn. Canterbury Regiment, N. Z. E. F. executed for desertion 19/08/1917, aged 32. Plot I. Z. 23.
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.
Clarence Henry Green MM.
2nd Field Company,
New Zealand Engineers
26/07/1917, aged 28.
Son of Henry Thomas and Anderina Green, of 33, Littlebourne Rd., Roslyn, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Also served in Gallipoli.
Plot I. A. 5.
L.G.9 December 1916, p12058, Rec No 173
From 17th to 20th September 1916, he located and repaired wells in the newly captured village of Flers. This service was performed under continuous shellfire. He has done consistently good work throughout from April to September in France.
Pictures courtesy of Michael Broad of Dunedin, New Zealand, nephew of this soldier
33rd Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.
06/02/1918, aged 23.
Son of James and Sarah Deane. Native of Erskineville, New South Wales.
Plot II. D. 21
Picture courtesy of Judy Deane, James was her husbands great uncle.
Clifford Limen Wallis
33rd Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.
23/07/1917, aged 22.
Son of Joseph and Catherine Wallis, of Kurrajong, Garah, New South Wales. Native of Moree.
Plot I. T. 20.
Cliff was wounded in the leg while doing trench maintenance south of Messines 22nd July 1917. He was taken to the 2nd Casualty Clearing Station at Steenwerck, and died of wounds next day.
Picture courtesy of great nephew, Joe Wallis
Lewis Henry Clifford Williams
39th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.
04/08/1917, aged 39.
Son of Henry Lewis Williams and Bessie Williams; husband of A. Williams, of Netherby, Victoria, Australia. Native of Broomfield, Victoria.
Plot I. X. 40.
My grandfather, Lewis Williams' date of death is given officially, 4th August 1917, although the letter my grandmother received, I still have the original, from the chaplain at the casualty clearing station, indicated that he was “brought in on the 4th and died the next day”.
My grandfather had three sons, of which, my father, the youngest was born in 1915. As a man in his late 30’s, with family responsibilities, the family story is that he was reluctant to join up, particularly while my grandmother was pregnant, but eventually did so in April 1916, when my father was nearly a year old. He left for England, with the 2nd replacements for the 39th Battalion in August 1916, went into France in May 1917, and died from wounds received, I believe, during the Messines campaign in August 1917.
Photo and text courtesy of his grandson Peter Williams of Tasmania, Australia
3rd Australian Pioneers
28/07/1917, aged 26.
Son of Maggie Robinson of 10, Dod's St., Brunswick East, Victoria, Australia, and the late John Wood Robinson. Native of Costerfield.
Plot I. V. 20.
Picture courtesy of great niece, Julie Smith
Charles Henry John Diews
36th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.
08/06/1917, aged 27.
Son of Charles Henry John and Sarah Diews, of 62, Darghan St.,
Glebe, New South Wales. Native of Katoomba.
Plot I. Q. 22.
Picture courtesy of Gillian Lewis, great niece of this soldier
4th Bn. 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Son of Mrs. C. Waye (formerly Hislop), of Conboyuro Light, Moreton Island, Queensland, Australia.
Plot I. S. 18.
Submitted by Robyn Ramsey
Image courtesy of Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19170712-39-22
23rd Bn. Cheshire Regiment
01/10/1918, aged 28.
Son of Christina and Woolfe Benjamin of Islington, London
Plot II. N. 11.
Picture courtesy of nephew, Derek Fry
7th Coy. Australian Machine Gun Corps
Plot II. C. 26.
From Gayndah, Qld. A farmer prior to enlistment, Pte Brown embarked with the 5th Reinforcements from Melbourne on HMAT Commonwealth on 19th September 1916. He was killed in action on 28th December 1917 and is buried in Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, Belgium.
Trois Arbres Cemetery before the entrance was re-built.
2807 Battery Quartermaster Sergeant
Hubert Stanley Graves
12th A.F.A. Bde. Australian Artillery
13/12/1917, aged 30.
Son of Edwin Clarence Johnstone Graves and Agnes Graves,
of "Benalta," Nimmo St., Essendon, Victoria, Australia. Native of Merino.
Plot II. C. 8.
An auctioneer from Coburg, Victoria, enlisted in August 1914 aged 27. He died on 13 December 1917 of a bomb wound, resulting from an accident.
Stafford John Greer
42nd Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.
01/08/1917, aged 26.
Son of Stafford John and Alice Greer; husband of M. Greer, of Kitchener Rd., Hendra, Queensland. Native of Bunya, Brisbane.
Plot I. V. 34.
Family portrait of 2319 Private (Pte) Stafford John his wife Margaret and their baby Lillian Marion. Stafford enlisted in the AIF serving as 2319 Private (Pte) Greer, 42nd Battalion, of Brisbane, QLD. A butcher prior to enlistment, he embarked from Brisbane with the 4th Reinforcements on board HMAT Boonah (A36) on 21 October 1916. Pte Greer served on the Western Front and died of wounds at Warneton, Belgium on 1 August 1917, aged 26.
44th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.
05/06/1917, aged 23.
Son of William and Elizabeth Griffith, of "Glenview,"
March, Orange, New South Wales.
Plot I. N. 10.
From Orange, NSW. A farmer prior to enlistment he embarked with the 3rd Reinforcements on HMAT Suffock (A23) on 10 October 1916.
Pte Griffin died of wounds on 5 June 1917, aged 23.
He is buried at Trois-Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, France.
Charles Henry Bale
35th Bn. Australian Artillery
22/11/1917, aged 19.
Plot II. B. 17.
A member of the 1st (later 35th) Battalion, of Parramatta, NSW. A farm labourer prior to enlisting, he embarked from Sydney aboard RMS Osterley on 10 February 1917. Pte Bale died on 22 November 1917, in the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station, France of wounds sustained in action, aged 19. He is buried in the Trois-Arbres Cemetery Steenwerck, France.