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Dud Corner Cemetery and The Loos Memorial

This was the site of a German strong point - the Lens Road Redoubt - which was captured by the 15th (Scottish) Division on 25 September 1915. The name 'Dud Corner' came from the large number of unexploded shells found when the area was cleared to create the cemetery after the end of the Armistice.

The Loos Memorial, designed by Sir Herbert Baker with sculpture by Charles Wheeler, was unveiled on 4 August 1930, and bears the names of more than 20,000 servicemen who died in this sector during the First World War and have no known grave.

One of those buried in Dud Corner Cemetery is VC recipient Captain Anketell Moutray Read:

Read passed into Sandhurst in 1901. He was well known as an athlete, winning the Heavyweight Boxing Championship of India eight times, and the middleweight twice. He also won the Army and Navy Heavyweight Championship at Aldershot and Portsmouth three times, an unequalled record. During one match, an opponent recalls wishing to throw in the towel against Read, due to his 'devastating jab'. As a result, Read earned the nickname 'Widowmaker'.

Read was 30 years old and a Captain in the 1st Battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment when Read VChe was involved in the action that would cost him his life and also earn him the Victoria Cross.

An extract from The London Gazette, dated 16 November 1915, records the following:

For most conspicuous bravery during the first attack near Hulluch on the morning of 25 September, 1915. Although partially gassed, Captain Read went out several times in order to rally parties of different units which were disorganised and retiring. He led them back into the firing line, and, utterly regardless of danger, moved freely about encouraging them under a withering fire. He was mortally wounded while carrying out this gallant work.

Capain Read had previously shown conspicuous bravery during digging operations on 29, 30 and 31 August, 1915, and on the night of the 29 - 30 July, he carried out of action an officer, who was mortally wounded, under a hot fire from rifles and grenades.