Ayette Indian and Chinese Cemetery
Historical Information (Source: CWGC)
The village of Ayette was the scene of heavy fighting in March 1918 when it was captured by the German forces during the Spring Offensive. It was retaken by the 32nd Division on 3 April and remained in Allied hands until the end of the war.Throughout 1917 and ’18, the men of the ILC and the CLC performed vital transport, maintenance, salvage and construction work on the Western Front and made a major contribution to the Allied war effort.
Some labour corps units remained in France after the Armistice and took part in the clearing of the battlefields, a task that involved the exhumation and re-interment of tens of thousands of Commonwealth soldiers. Although they were usually deployed outside the range of enemy guns, hundreds of labourers fell victim to long-range shelling, air raids, and enemy action during the German Spring Offensive in 1918. Illness claimed the lives of many more, particularly during the influenza pandemic of 1918. A total of 2,000 Chinese and 1,500 Indian labourers died while serving on the Western Front.
The Indian and Chinese cemetery was established by British fighting troops in September 1917 and used until the following April and again in the autumn of 1918. There are now 80 First World War casualties buried or commemorated at this site.
- Indian (35)
- United Kingdom (28)
- German (1)
- Army (64)