NINE ELMS MILITARY CEMETERY, THELUS
NINE ELMS MILITARY CEMETERY, THELUS
- Pas de Calais
- Identified Casualties:
Thelus is a village about 6.5 kilometres north of Arras and 1 kilometre east of the main road from Arras to Lens. The cemetery is on the western side of the main road and about 1.5 kilometres south of the village.
Wheelchair access is possible with some difficulty.
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"NINE ELMS" was the name given by the Army to a group of trees 460 metres East of the Arras-Lens main road, between Thelus and Roclincourt.
The cemetery was begun, after the capture of Vimy Ridge, by the burial in what is now Plot I, Row A of 80 men of the 14th Canadian Infantry Battalion, who fell on the 9th April 1917; and this and the next row were filled by June 1917. Three burials were made in Plot I, Row C, in July 1918. The rest of the cemetery was made after the Armistice by the concentration of British and French graves from the battlefields of Vimy and Neuville-St. Vaast and from certain small cemeteries, including:-
ARRAS ROAD CEMETERY, THELUS, on the roadside a little North of Nine Elms Cemetery. This graveyard, originally called "CA 39," contained the graves of 46 Canadian soldiers, 39 of whom belonged to the 15th Battalion, and most of whom fell on the 9th April 1917.
GRAVE CA 26, ROCLINCOURT, by the roadside a little South of Nine Elms Cemetery, in which were buried 72 Canadian soldiers of the 5th Battalion who fell on the 9th April 1917.
GRAVE CA 35, NEUVILLE-ST. VAAST, 914 metres West of Nine Elms Cemetery, in which were buried 23 Canadian soldiers of the 15th Battalion who fell on the 9th April 1917.
GRAVE CA 40, THELUS, 274 metres West of the main road, by the light railway track. Here were buried 44 Canadian soldiers of the 16th Battalion who fell on the 9th April 1917.
GRAVE CB 10, THELUS, 274 metres South-West of the hamlet of Les Tilleuls, in which were buried 52 Canadian soldiers and two from the United Kingdom who fell in April and May 1917.
GRAVE CC 3, VIMY, just South of the highest point of the Ridge, in which were buried 58 Canadian soldiers who fell on the 9th and 10th April 1917.
ROCLINCOURT SQUARE CEMETERY (or Roclincourt Forward Cemetery No.5), 1 kilometre North of the village of Roclincourt, contained the graves of 23 soldiers of the 51st (Highland) Division who fell on the 9th April 1917.
SEAFORTH GRAVE, ROCLINCOURT (or Roclincourt Forward Cemetery No.4), a little North-West of the Square Cemetery. Here were buried twelve N.C.O'S. and men of the 1st/4th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders who fell on the 9th April 1917.
*The numerous groups of graves made about this time by the Canadian Corps Burial Officer were, as a rule, not named, but serially lettered and numbered.
There are now nearly 700, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, almost 150 are unidentified and a special memorial is erected to one Canadian soldier, believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of 44 soldiers from Canada and ten from the United Kingdom, buried in other cemeteries, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. Four graves in Plot IV, identified as a whole but not individually, are marked by headstones bearing the additional words: "Buried near this spot". The great majority of the British graves are of April 1917; the French are of 1914 and 1915. 177 French graves have been removed to other cemeteries.
The cemetery covers an area of 3,355 square metres and is enclosed by a low brick wall.