On the morning of 25 September, this area was captured by the
British 1st Division. An Advanced Dressing Station (ADS) was
established here to care for those wounded close by, named after
St. Mary's Hospital in London where many of its staff had trained.
To the east is the town of Hulluch, reached by scouting parties of
the Cameron Highlanders - the furthest advance by any British
forces during the battle.
One of those commemorated at St. Mary's ADS Cemetery is
Private Charles Handley.
Charles was born in 1886 to Edward and Sarah Handley of Walsall
in Staffordshire, UK.
In 1911, Charles was living with his brother Thomas and wife
Sarah on Tantarra Street in Walsall and the brothers both worked in
the saddlery or harness-making trade.
Charles had been a member of the British regular army. A
reservist, he was called up at the outbreak of the First World War
in August 1914.
Charles was sent to France on 12 August 1914 with the 2nd
Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment, part of the British
Expeditionary Force. At some point he was transferred to the 1st
Both battalions fought in the fierce encounters of October-November 1914 that
came to be known as the First Battle of Ypres. Both spent the
bitter winter holding the line in western Belgium or northern
France, and both took part in the spring fighting of 1915,
including the Battle of Festubert in May. Both battalions would see
action in the Battle of Loos, the 1st South Staffordshires with 7th
Division attacking towards Citié St. Elie.
On 25 September, the first day of the battle, the 1st South
Staffordshires attacked a German fortification called the 'Popes
Nose' Redoubt. During the attack Charles was killed. His body was
found after the Armistice in 1918 and identified by means of his
identity disc before being laid to rest in St Mary's ADS Cemetery,
close to where he had fallen.