Poppy Moeuvres Communal Cemetery Extension Poppy



Moeuvres was the scene of heavy fighting during the initial stages of the Battle of Cambrai, with the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers participating in the 36th (Ulster) Division's attack on the village on 22 and 23 November 1917. For most of the men recently transferred to the battalion from the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, this was their first battle as infantrymen. Although the village was briefly captured it could not be held in the face of a heavy German counter attack.

Moeuvres remained in German hands until 19 September 1918. The communal cemetery was extended to the west by the Germans between November 1917 and March 1918. The British Extension, was made between September and October 1918 and was enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields on the Cambrai-Bapaume road. The extension now contains 565 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. Some 263 of these burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 31 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. The cemetery also contains 93 war graves of other nationalities, most of them German.

Of the men of the 9th (NIH) Battalion who were killed during the fighting on 22 and 23 November 1917, whose bodies were not recovered, four had previously served in the North Irish Horse. Another former Horseman was serving as an officer in the 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. If their bodies were recovered by the Germans after the battle, they were probably buried in the German extension to this cemetery, and after the war would have been moved to the British Extension.

The five who may lie in unidentified graves in this cemetery are Captain David McCausland, Lance Corporal Hugh Edmond Flanagan, Lance Corporal Frederick Thomas Scanlon, Private William Joseph Shaw Petty, Private James Sleator.





Images Copyright © Phillip Tardif with all rights reserved as set out in this Use of Material policy. Some of the information and the cemetery plan sourced from Commonwealth War Graves Commission www.cwgc.org.