HERMIES HILL BRITISH CEMETERY
UK - 983
AIF - 43
NZ - 7
CEF - 3
UNNAMED - 297
SPECIAL MEMORIALS - 37
The village of Hermies was seized on the morning of the 9th April 1917, by a surprise attack of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions Australian Imperial Force (AIF). It was held against the advancing Germans on 22nd March 1918 by the 17th (Northern) Division, but evacuated on the following day. It was retaken in September 1918 during the final advance to the Hindenburg Line. Hermies was adopted in the 1920s, with Havrincourt, by the County Borough of Huddersfield. Hermies Hill British Cemetery was started in November 1917, during the Battle of Cambrai, and stayed in use by fighting units until March 1918; further graves were added in the following September. These original burials comprise nearly the whole of Plot I; the remaining three plots were added after the war by the concentration of 819 graves from a wide area round Hermies, and from certain small cemeteries (see below). The cemetery now contains the graves of 983 soldiers, airmen, and sailors and Marines of the Royal Naval Division, from the United Kingdom, and 43 soldiers from Australia, 7 from New Zealand and 3 from Canada. The unnamed graves are 297 in number, and special memorials are erected to 28 soldiers from the United Kingdom and 3 from Australia, known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of 6 soldiers from the United Kingdom, buried in two German Cemeteries, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. The Register records particulars of 1,036 War Graves, existing or commemorated in the cemetery.
The following were among the burial grounds from which British graves were removed to Hermies Hill British Cemetery in the 1920s:
DEMICOURT GERMAN CEMETERY, BOURSIES, at the North
end of the hamlet of Demicourt, which contained about 100 German graves and
those of 15 unidentified men of the 7th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
HAVRINCOURT COTTAGE GARDEN CEMETERY, made by the 47th (London) Dvision in the Southern part of the village and containing the graves of 30 soldiers from the United Kingdom and 5 Germans who fell in the winter of 1917-1918.
HAVRINCOURT WOOD BRITISH CEMETERY, about 1 kilometre South-West of Havrincourt village. It contained the graves of 70 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell on the 20th November, 1917, the first day of the Battle of Cambrai, and all but 5 of whom belonged to the Infantry of the 62nd (West Riding) Division.
HERMIES AUSTRALIAN CEMETERY, on the North-West side of the village, containing the graves of 1 officer and 20 N.C.O.s and men of the 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion, who fell on the 9th April, 1917.
Hermies is a town in the Department of the
Pas-de-Calais, approximately 3.5 kilometres south of the road from Bapaume to
Cambrai, the N30. From the N30 take the D34 for 3.2 kilometres to its junction
with the D5E where the first CWGC sign is situated. The Cemetery lies on the
left side of the road, 150 metres from the junction.
GRAVES OF INTEREST
|Second Lieutenant Frank Edward Young VC 1st/1st Hertfordshire Regiment (III-B-5)|
- Killed 18th September 1918, aged 23.
- Son of Frank and Sarah Ellen Young, of 46, Wood Avenue, Folkestone, Kent.
- Victoria Cross London Gazette 13th December 1918:
" For most conspicuous bravery, determination and exceptional devotion to duty on 18th September, 1918, south-east of Havrincourt, when during an enemy counter-attack and throughout an extremely intense enemy barrage he visited all posts, warned the garrisons and encouraged the men. In the early stages of the attack he rescued two of his men who had been captured, and bombed and silenced an enemy machine gun. Although surrounded by the enemy, 2nd Lt. Young fought his way back to the main barricade and drove out a party of the enemy who were assembling there. By his further exertions the battalion was able to maintain a line of great tactical value, the loss of which would have meant serious delay to future operations. Throughout four hours of intense hand-to-hand Sighting 2nd Lt. Young displayed the utmost valour and devotion to duty, and set an example to which the company gallantly responded. He was last seen fighting hand to hand against a considerable number of the enemy."
Grave of 2/Lt F.E.Young VC (ŠPaul Reed)