Serre was located at the northern end of the 1st July 1916 advance. Kitchener’s volunteers and Pals of 31st Division from Lancashire and Yorkshire were slaughtered and I primarily thank the French artillery for the radically different consequences to those at the southern extreme of the British front with 30th Division.
Serre Road No 3 is located on the line of advance of the 11th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment – The Accrington Pals. We were privileged to share the rededication of the grave of Lieutenant Charles Stonehouse, who had previously held an unknown grave.
Military Honours and family members made this is an unforgettable experience. Not Forgotten.
The village of Serre is 11 kilometres north-north-east of Albert. Using the D919 from Arras to Amiens you will drive through the villages of Bucquoy, Puisieux, then Serre Les Puisieux (approximately 20 kilometres south of Arras). On leaving Serre Les Puisieux, 600 metres further along the D919, there is a right turn onto a small lane which will take you directly to Serre Road No.3 Cemetery. It must, however, be emphasised that this lane is not suitable for cars and buses.
The “Serre Road” was, in June 1916, the road leading out of Mailly-Maillet, in British hands, and entering No Man’s Land about 1,170 metres South-West of Serre, which was held by the Germans. The 31st and 4th Divisions attacked North and South of this road on 1 July 1916, with parties of the 31st Division reaching Serre, but the attack failed. The 3rd and 31st Divisions renewed the attempt, without success, on 13 November. The Germans evacuated Serre on 24 February 1917, and the 22nd Manchesters entered the village on the following morning. In the spring of 1917, the battlefields of the Ancre were cleared by the V Corps and a number of cemeteries made, three of which are named from the Serre Road. They fell into enemy hands on 25 March 1918, but were recovered on the following 14 August. Serre Road Cemetery No.3, was made by the V Corps in the spring of 1917. There are now over 80, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site (mainly of the 31st Division) who fell in July and November 1916. Of these, over half are unidentified and special memorials are erected to four men who are known or believed to be buried among them. The cemetery covers an area of 293 square metres and is enclosed by a rubble wall.