Hebuterne Military Cemetery - Rededication Ceremony for 4 soldiers.
On Wednesday 12th April 2017 at 11.00h a Rededication Service was held for 4 members of the 1st / 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Lance Corporal James Thomas Spencer
Private Joseph Turton Cleaver
Private Walter Jennings
Private Reuben Kimberley
All four soldiers died on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The 1st/7th Battalion was one of four territorial battalions that made up the 143rd Brigade of the 48th (South Midlands) Division. They were engaged in various actions on the Western Front, including the Battle of Albert (1 – 13 July 1916), which was two weeks of Anglo-French offensive operations in the Battle of the Somme. None had known graves, it was believed all were buried in Hebuterne Military Cemetery, but all four were commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Recently evidence was reviewed, including historical records, and this has allowed JCCC to be able to say there is now firm evidence the four soldiers are indeed buried at Hebuterne. Although it still hasn’t been possible to confirm in which of the many unknown soldier’s graves they are buried, a “Special Memorial” headstone for each casualty is rededicated meaning there is now a permanent memorial to them within the cemetery.
The four men were from Coventry. Two of them, Private Kimberley and Private Cleaver had been friends from childhood, joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment together, served and later died together.
The small, sober ceremony was attended by the local dignitaries, representatives of the military and locals.