GUILLEMONT ROAD CEMETERY

Guillemont Road Cemetery

This CWGC cemetery is just outside the village of Guillemont, which has a special significance for the 16th Irish Division and the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. It is 12km east of Albert. The first grave we searched for was that of Private John Hayden of the 6th Battalion, Connaught Rangers. He died on September 3rd 1916.

Finding the grave of Pte John Hayden of the Connaught Rangers

Captain William Joseph Murphy of the 9th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers died on 9th September 1916, aged 36. He was mentioned in despatches. He was the son of Edward and Mary Murphy from Tullow in Co. Carlow. Joined the Cadet Corps, Leinster Regiment, in November 1914; appointed Lietenant in the 9th Dublins the following month and was promoted to Captain in March 1915.

Headstone for Captain J. Murphy, Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Guillemont was an important point in the German defences at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. It was taken by the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers on 30th July but the battalion was obliged to fall back, and it was again entered for a short time by the 55th (West Lancashire) Division on 8th August. On 18th August, the village was reached by the 2nd Division, and on 3rd September (in the Battle of Guillemont) it was captured and cleared by the 20th (Light) and part of the 16th (Irish) Divisions. The cemetery was begun by fighting units (mainly of the Guards Division) and field ambulances after the Battle of Guillemont, and was closed in March 1917, which it contained 121 burials. It was greatly increased after the Armistice when graves (almost all from July to September 1916) were brought in from the battlefields immediately surrounding the village and certain smaller cemeteries.

Grave of an unknown soldier at Guillemont Road Cemetery

Guillemont Road Cemetery now contains 2,263 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 1,523 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to eight casualties known or believed to be buried among them. The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

2Lt G.C.M. Hamilton of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Second Lieutenant G.C.M. Hamilton from the 8th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers was killed on 7th September 1916.

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