Railway Hollow Cemetery, Hébuterne


Hébuterne village remained in Allied hands from March 1915 to the Armistice, although during the German advances of the summer of 1918, it was practically on the front line. Railway Hollow Cemetery is in the British support line of July 1916, about 1,100 metres west of Serre and 200 metres west of the plantation called "Mark Copse." It was made by the V Corps (as V Corps Cemetery No. 3) when the Somme battlefields were cleared in 1917, and contains the graves of soldiers of the 3rd, 19th and 31st Divisions who died on 1 July and 13 November 1916, and 5 February 1917.

The cemetery takes its name from a light military railway which once ran through the nearby valley.

The cemetery contains 107 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, including William Arthur Ormerod (Grave Ref. A. 29.), of the Accrington Pals, who died during the ill-fated assault on Serre on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

On 1 July 1916 the 31st Division fought their way across the hilly country towards Serre, in a vain attempt to reach their objectives. They were mown down by well-placed machine gun nests and caught up on the barbed wire entanglements that the artillery bombardment preceding the attack had failed to cut up.

The memorial to the Accrington Pals in Sheffield Memorial Park, Serre

The remains of the trenches from which the Accrington Pals launched their assault on Serre on the morning of 1 July 1916