St. Vaast Post Military Cemetery, Richebourg-L’Avoue
Historical Information (Source: CWGC)
The village of Richebourg-L'Avoué was held by British forces from the autumn of 1914 until it was overrun by German units advancing west during the great Spring Offensive in April 1918. It was recaptured by Commonwealth soldiers in September 1918 and remained in Allied hands until the end of the war. The village was less than two kilometres from the front-lines trenches and was routinely shelled by German artillery. During the Battle of Festubert in May 1915, British soldiers began burying their fallen comrades in an old orchard near a forward dressing station which was located at the terminus of a trench tramway between the hamlet of Richebourg St. Vaast and La Croix Barbet. The cemetery was used by fighting units serving in the front-line and field ambulances until July 1917 and is the final resting place of over 70 men of the South Downs Pals battalion who were killed at the Battle of Boar’s Head on 30 June 1916. In April and May 1918, the Germans buried 90 of their dead in the south-east end of the cemetery and in September and October 1918, 18 British soldiers killed during the final Allied advance were laid to rest in Plot V.
There are now almost 800 soldiers of the First World War buried or commemorated at St. Vaast Post, including over 90 German burials. Special memorials have been erected to three British soldiers buried in the cemetery whose graves cannot now be traced.
- United Kingdom (740)
- German (57)
- Indian (54)
- Army (851)