Pas de Calais



General Directions: Wanquetin is a village approximately 12 kilometres west of Arras and approximately 6 kilometres north of Beaumetz. Wanquetin Communal Cemetery Extension lies to the north-east of the village on the road to Warlus (D.59).

A few burials were made in the communal cemetery from March to November 1916, but in October 1916, the 41st Casualty Clearing Station came to the village, and by the end of November it had become necessary to begin the extension. The last graves made in the cemetery were those in Plot II, Row E, where 23 men of the 3rd Canadian Machine Gun Battalion, killed on 24 September 1918 in a German daylight air raid over Warlus, are buried.

The communal cemetery contains eight Commonwealth burials of the First World War, the extension 222. The extension also contains nine Second World War burials from May 1940.

The extension was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield

Victoria Cross: 889958 Corporal Joseph Kaeble, VC, MM, 22nd Bn. Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment), died of wounds 09/06/1918, aged 26. Plot II. A. 8.

Citation: The following extract is recorded in the London Gazette Supplement No. 30903, dated 16th September, 1918:- "For most conspicuous bravery and extraordinary devotion to duty when in charge of a Lewis gun section in the front line trenches, in which a strong enemy raid was attempted. During an intense bombardment Corporal Kaeble remained at the parapet with his Lewis gun shouldered ready for action, the field of fire being very short. As soon as the barrage lifted from the front line, about fifty of the enemy advanced towards his post. By this time the whole of his section except one had become casualties. Corporal Kaeble jumped over the parapet, and holding his Lewis gun at the hip, emptied one magazine after another into the advancing enemy, and although wounded several times by fragments of shells and bombs, he continued to fire and entirely blocked the enemy by his determined stand. Finally, firing all the time, he fell backwards into the trench mortally wounded. While lying on his back in the trench he fired his last cartridges over the parapet at the retreating Germans, and before losing consciousness shouted to the wounded about him: "Keep it up, boys; do not let them get through! We must stop them !" The complete repulse of the enemy attack at this point was due to the remarkable personal bravery and self-sacrifice of this gallant non-commissioned officer, who died of his wounds shortly afterwards."

Shot at Dawn: 10930 Private J. Ferguson, 1st Bn. Royal Scots Fusiliers, attached Royal Engineers, executed for desertion 20/04/1917. Plot I. C. 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 144, Canada 77, South Africa 1, Total Burials: 222




This image courtesy of Colin Ellender




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