British Legion Riders Branch North East

17th May 2023

In May 2023 The British Legion Riders Branch North East paid a visit to a number of Cemeteries to remember some of the Garforth Soldiers who were lost in WW1.

Aveluy Communal Cemetery

Lieutenant Ronald E. Sissons Died 2nd June 2016

Image Shows Group member Mick Ainsley

Nathan D.Teale

Died 14th Sep 1916

Guards Cemetery -Lesboeufs

Guardsman N. D. Teale died 14th Sep 2016

Sergeant H. Gregson died 6th Oct 2016

Harry Gregson

Died 6th Oct 1916

Shortly after noon on 25th September 1916 soldiers of the Guards Division stormed a German trench which lay just beyond the northeast wall of this cemetery and positions in the nearby sunken road, before advancing to capture the village of Lesboeufs.

Soon after the capture of the village, the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards buried some of their fallen comrades. By the time of the Armistice there were some 40 graves, in what is today Plot 1. The cemetery was later greatly expanded when thousands more were brought here from surrounding battlefields and smaller burial grounds.

The Somme Offensive

The Guards Division and the Capture of Lesboeufs

On 15th September, the Guards Division advanced from positions around the village of Ginchy and attacked towards Lesboeufs. Coming under heavy German machine-gun fire the division’s advance stalled, and by the end of the day the Guardsmen had only advanced one-third of the way towards Lesboeufs.

The Guards were relieved on the night of 16-17 September by the 20th (Light) Division. Preparations were made for a fresh attack on the village, the men digging trenchs in no-man’s land closer to Lesboeufs. On 25th September the Guards division moved back into the line ready for the assault.

At 12.35pm on a warm, hazy autumn afternoon, British artillery fire crashed down on the German positions close to where this cemetery now stands. The Guardsmen attacked, and leading the troops advance quickly, but German artillery fire targeting fire targeting no-mans’s land caused many casualties among those following behind.

Within five minutes the Scots and Irish Guards at the centre of the attack had captured the German front line from the surviving defenders. On the right the advance of the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards was slowed by uncut barbed wire, while on the left the 4th Grenadier Guards were met but heavy machine-gun and rifle fire. Officers of the 2nd Grenadier Guards cut the barbed wire, while their men fired the German positions along the sunken road. The Guardsmen cleared the German trenches with bomb and bayonet, and secured the lines by 1.35pm

Following in the wake of British Artillery fire, the Guardsmen reached Lesboeufs soon afterwards, many German soldiers surrendered o r fleeing in the face of the British assault. At 2.35pm a final attack brought British forces to the far side of the ruined village. Dugouts and cellars were cleared of the remaining defenders and, with evening approaching, Guardsmen dug in to consolidate their positions around Lesboeufs.

Over the course of September, the Guards Division reported 7,300 men wounded, missing or killed. Some 350 are buried in this cemetery, while many more have no known grave and their names are inscribed on the Thiepval Memorial

Poziers Cemetery

Poziers Cemetery

Percy Brownridge

Died 27th Mar 1918

Thomas A. Brownridge

Died 22nd Mar 1918

Walter E. Smith

Died 27th Mar 1918

Red Cross Corner Cemetery

Herbert Freshwater died 21st Mar 1918

Thiepval Memorial

George Dacre

Died 28th Sep 1916

William E. Isherwood

Died 7th Jul 1916

Herbert E. Dickinson

Died 14th Jul 1916

Joseph Gee

Died 1st Jul 1916

Percy Levitt

Died 1st Jul 1916

William Tillotson

Died 30th Sep 1916

Wancourt Cemetery

William Reed Died 28th August 1918