There are nine Manchester Regiment casualties in this concentration cemetery to the west of St Quentin. The first group were members of 2nd Battalion, who took Manchester Hill in the advance to the Hindenburg Line in 1917. The second group are mainly 16th Battalion men, who made valiant defence of Manchester Hill on 21st March 1918 – the beginning of the German Spring Offensive.
BEAN F 21/03/1918 Private Manchester Regiment 16th Bn. ‘50994’ Son of Charles Bean, of West St., Helpston, Peterborough.
BROWN HERBERT ELLIOTT H E 27 21/03/1918 Serjeant Manchester Regiment 17th Bn ‘8060’ Son of John Thomas and Mary Brooke Brown, of 55, Huxley Avenue, Cheetham, Manchester.
DEVON J 21/03/1918 Private Manchester Regiment 16th Bn. ‘252611’ Son of Charles Devon, of 68, Edgeware Rd., Edge Hill, Liverpool.
DONNELLY E 28 21/03/1918 Private Manchester Regiment 16th Bn. ‘303305’ Husband of Mabel E. Donnelly, of 7, Spring Terrace, Lower Crumpsall, Manchester.
GLASS F 24 14/04/1917 Private Manchester Regiment 2nd Bn. ‘29430’ Son of Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Glass, of 279, Cheetham Hill Rd., Manchester.
HALL R 14/04/1917 Private Manchester Regiment 2nd Bn. ‘1838’ Son of Mrs. Esther Smith, of 5, Club Row, Coalville, Leicester.
HOPLEY C L 23 14/04/1917 Private Manchester Regiment 2nd Bn. ‘26321’ Son of Charles John and Louisa Hopley; husband of Elizabeth Molloy (formerly Hopley), of 65, Every St., Great Ancoats St., Manchester.
KEWLEY THOMAS T 19 30/03/1918 Private Manchester Regiment “C” Coy. 16th Bn. ‘277099’ Son of John Kewley, of 62, George Leigh St., Manchester. Native of Ancoats, Manchester.
SEDDON T 20 21/03/1918 Private Manchester Regiment 16th Bn. ‘36287’ Son of Mrs. Elizabeth Seddon, of 54, Regent St., Salford, Manchester.
The exception to these groups is 17th Battaion’s Sgt Bert Payne. Bert was attached to 90th Brigade Trench Mortar Battery and is believed to have been killed in the German bombardment of his position between Savy and Etrelliers.
Having worked with Bert’s nephew, it was great to pay respects and visit the position of his original burial and the location where he was killed. Bert has a replacement headstone and is not forgotten.
Holnon village and wood were the scene of heavy fighting between the 6th Division and the enemy on the 14th-19th September, 1918. Chapelle British Cemetery, named from a wayside shrine, was made after the Armistice, by the concentration of graves of 1917-18 from the battlefields West of St. Quentin and from HOLNON COMMUNAL and FRENCH MILITARY CEMETERIES. There are now over 600, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over 250 are unidentified and special memorials are erected to 17 soldiers, known or believed to be buried here. Other special memorials record the names of four United Kingdom soldiers, buried in Holnon Communal Cemetery, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. The cemetery covers an area of 2,063 square metres and is enclosed by a low rubble wall.