BRAINE COMMUNAL CEMETERY, AISNE
UK - 78
Braine was captured by dismounted units of the 1st Cavalry Brigade on the 12th September 1914, and No 5 Casualty Clearing Station RAMC was then posted in the town. French troops then occupied the area until Braine was retaken by the Germans on the 28th May 1918, and recovered in the following July. Braine Communal Cemetery is in the Boulevard des Danois. In the South-East part of it, among about 200 French war graves, are those of 78 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in September and October 1914, and of whom 68 are named on Special Memorials because the exact positions of their graves in the British Plot are not known.
Braine is a small town 18 kilometres east of Soisson and 9 kilometres south of Vailly-sur-Aisne, and the Communal Cemetery is located on the north side of the town. The town of Braine can be reached from the direction of Vailly-sur-Aisne via the D14. Following the D14 will take you through the village of Chassemy. After several kilometres of scenic road the town of Braine can be seen. On arriving at Braine, via the street called Avenue Du President JF Kennedy, turn left onto the D1320, Boulevard Des Danois. After 300 metres the cemetery will be found on the left side of the road. Within the cemetery the Commonwealth War Graves Plot will be found at the front right side of the cemetery.
Among those buried here is Captain Harry Sherwood Ranken VC, RAMC (A-43), who died on 25th September 1914, aged 31. He was a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (France), which was awarded for gallant conduct during the operations from 21st to 30th August 1914. Son of the Rev. Henry Ranken and Helen Morton Ranken, of The Manse, Irvine, Ayrshire. Native of Glasgow. His VC citation reads:
"For tending wounded in the trenches under rifle and shrapnel fire at Hautevesnes on 19th September and on 20th September continuing to attend to wounded after his thigh and leg had been shattered. (He has since died of wounds.)"
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