Arques Churchyard

Historical Information (Source: CWGC)

The British graves in this churchyard are about 80 yards north-west of the north-western corner of the church. There are eight burials from the Second World War, seven soldiers from the United Kingdom of whom two are not identified and a member of the British Overseas Airways Corporation.


Served with

  • United Kingdom (6)

Served in

  • Army (5)
  • Miscellaneous (1)

Captain HOARE, JOHN MATHEW HAMPDEN, Died 23/05/1940

British Overseas Airways Corporation

Son of Lt. Col. Arthur Fanshawe Hoare, C.B., and Gertrude Jane Katharine Hoare, of Harrow, Middlesex. B.A. (Cantab)


Captain John M.H. Hoare was as navigator in a DC3, when it was hit by anti-aircraft guns over Calais. The pilot made a forced landing near Arques. The navigator was killed and two of the passengers wounded, while the pilot Raymond Chartier, was shot by German troops as he tried to reach French lines.

Captain Hoare was the skipper of Armstrong Whitworth Ensign G-ADSZ "Elysean". This machine was straffed on the ground at Merville by three Bf-109s earlier that day. It is why Hoare became a navigator to come back to U.K.  Graves with that BOAC badge are very rare.


24 (COMMUNICATIONS) SQUADRON, HENDON Douglas DC-3. Port wing hit by AA fire over St Omer and forced-landed near Arques.

(Pilot1) Raymond Emille Chartier reputedly shot while attempting to evade capture, (Pilot2) Albert Lassois captured wounded, (W/Op) Jan-Paul Grauwels captured slightly wounded in left arm, (F/Eng) Piet Vrebos captured unhurt. Captain John Mathew Hampden Hoare (of BOAC) killed, Pilot Officer Benson Freeman and rest of passengers believed captured unhurt. Aircraft OO-AUI later burned out 100% write-off.  

Impressed into RAF service, this ex-Belgian Sabena Airlines aircraft and its civilian crew was one of nine transport aircraft employed in air-lifting essential stores to Merville this day. It was en-route back to England carrying several crew members of aircraft destroyed there earlier.