Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension – France

PERONNE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION

On 6th September 2014 Stephen and I drove to Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, which is located on the south west side of Peronne Communal Cemetery at Peronne in France.

According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website http://www.cwgc.org/, Peronne fell to the Germans on 24th September 1914. It was captured by the 40th and 48th Divisions on 18th March 1917, then was retaken by the Germans on 23rd March 1918. It was taken by the 2nd Australian Division on 1st September 1918.

The military cemetery extension was used by the 48th (South Midland) Division in March 1917, then was used by the Germans in 1918, and then by Australian units in September 1918. Further burials were made in the cemetery extension following the war when graves in the battlefields and smaller cemeteries north and east of Peronne were brought in and reburied.

There are now 1,595 Commonwealth soldiers of the First World War buried or commemorated in Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension.  This number includes 488 Australian soldiers, many of whom died during the capture of Peronne between the 1st and 3rd September 1918. There are also 97 German war graves.

John Martin, a labourer on enlistment per his service record, who joined the Coo-ees at Molong, is the only Coo-ee buried in this cemetery. He was killed in action on 1st September 1918 during the 54th Battalion’s successful assault on Peronne.

The photograph below shows John Martin’s headstone (second from the left) at Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension.

Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, Peronne, France (Photograph: S. & H> Thompson, 6/9/2014)

Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, Peronne, France (Photograph: S. & H> Thompson, 6/9/2014)

A photograph of the headstone on John Martin’s grave will be placed on his individual blog entry, and form part of a Roll of Honour for the fallen Coo-ees on this blog.

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