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Faubourg D'Amiens Cemetery, Arras

Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery is in the western part of the town of Arras in the Boulevard du General de Gaulle, near the Citadel, approximately 2 kilometres due west of the railway station. Within this cemetery will also be found the Arras Memorial, which commemorates over 35,000 casualties of the British, New Zealand and South African Forces who died between Spring 1916 and 7 August 1918 and who have no known grave.

The city of Faubourg-D'Amiens was raided by German forces at the end of August 1914 and occupied by the Germans during the last fortnight in September. It was fiercely and unsuccessfully attacked in October, and it remained in Allied hands until the end of the War. It passed from French to British occupation in the Spring of 1916. It has given its name to the Battles of April and May 1917, in which the German front at Vimy and on the Scarpe was broken; to the Battle of the 28th March 1918, in which the German attack on the Third Army was defeated; and to the Battles of August and September 1918, in which the Third Army helped to break the Hindenburg line. The city is built, to some extent, on its own underground quarries, and it covers a very large system of tunnels, which was used and developed by the British Army;- their use in the preparation for the Battles of April 1917 is mentioned in the official Despatches. The city was "adopted" by the City of Newcastle-upon-Tyne; and a Memorial tablet to the 56th (London) Division was placed on the wall of the convent of St. Augustine, in the Rue du Saumon, near the railway station, in 1923. 

The Communal Cemetery of Arras, in the suburb of St. Sauveur, on the East side of the town, was under fire during the war; and civilian burials were made in the French Military Cemetery which was opened near the Citadel in the Western suburb called the Faubourg-d'Amiens. This Military Cemetery (named from the Military Hospital in the Convent of the St. Sacrement) contained in the end the graves of 770 French soldiers. Behind it there grew up, from March 1916 to November 1918, the present British Military Cemetery. It was made by Field Ambulances and fighting units. It was increased, after the Armistice, by the concentration of 111 graves from the battlefields of Arras and from two smaller cemeteries, and about the same time the French graves in front of it were removed to other burial grounds. Two of the British graves were destroyed by shell fire and are represented by special memorials. The third special memorial commemorates an officer of the United States Army Air Force who died during the 1939-1945 War. 

The two cemeteries from which British graves were taken to Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery were the following: 

LIGNEREUIL MILITARY CEMETERY, on the outskirts of the village, beside the road to Aubigny, which was begun by French troops and contained the graves of seven soldiers from the United Kingdom. 
RUE-ST. MICHEL BRITISH CEMETERY, ARRAS, in the Eastern part of the town, containing the graves of 89 soldiers from the United Kingdom and two from Canada who fell in April and May 1917.

 

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Old Front Line website by Paul Reed - ŠPaul Reed 2001-2007
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