La Targette British Cemetery, Neuville-St. Vaast

British & Commonwealth War Graves from the Arras offensive of 1917.  The British plot is next to the enormous French Cemetery, producing a remarkable site of commemoration with more than 12,000 burials.

We tripped over this location, as it is next a very pleasant restaurant.  I suspect it is not on the usual tours, even though it is near Vimy Ridge.  I will learn some more for my return.


Courtesy CWGC

Neuville-St. Vaast is a village 6.5 kilometres north of Arras, a little east of the road from Bethune to Arras. La Targette British Cemetery lies to the south-west of the village on the north-west side of the road (D55) to the village of Maroeuil.

La Targette British Cemetery, formerly known as Aux-Rietz Military Cemetery, was begun at the end of April 1917 and used by field ambulances and fighting units until September 1918. Nearly a third of the graves have an artillery connection; in March-April 1917, the artillery of the 2nd Canadian and 5th Divisions, and certain heavy artillery units, had their headquarters in a deep cave at Aux-Rietz. Sixteen graves were brought into the cemetery from the immediate neighbourhood after the Armistice and a further 26 sets of First World War remains were added during the Second World War. The cemetery contains 638 First World War burials, 41 of them unidentified. There are also three Second World War burials, two of which are unidentified. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.