IN MEMORy by Pierre Vandervelden

The visit of Commonwealth graves in Communals Cemeteries & Churchyards in Belgium & France

RUE PETILLON Military Cemetery (Fleurbaix) (Pas de Calais France)

Page 1 The Pictures

Page 2 List of Casualties

 Pte Harry Marsh 21/04/1918 aged 30
for Anthony Bagshaw Mansfield Woodhouse (U.K.)
Pte Harold Smith 16/02/1915 aged 21
A death notice from his family:
"A loving Husband and Daddy,
None breathed more true and kind,
But tis sweet to know we meet again,
Where parting is no more,
And that our loved one has only gone before,
So sad, but so true, we cannot tell why
The best are the first who are called on to die,
God took him home, it was his will,
But in our hearts he liveth still."
(Harold was from Burnley, Lancashire).
for Phil Smith (Brisbane, Australia)
2nd/ Lt. Robert Emrys Owen 18/09/1918 aged 19
for Iwan Hughes.
On right, Emrys's family grave, at St. Michael's Church, Llanrug, Gwynedd, North Wales.
The epitaph is:
Ellen Owen Dear wife of John R. Owen, Isfryn, Cwm-y-Glo, Who died April 14 1925 aged 57.
Also Robert Emrys Owen. their beloved son, 2nd Lieut. RAF who was killed in France
September 18 1918 aged 19 And was buried in Fleurbaix Cemetery.
"Until the day break, and the shadows flee away."
Also John Robert Owen Who died August 28 1928 Aged 70.
" A short rest, before the dawn."

Copy of a letter that Emrys Owen sent to R.R.Roberts, Fronheulog, Dinorwig (posted 28 August 1918),a few weeks before he died:
Tuesday, 27th.
My dear Friend,
Here I am at last getting down to sending you a brief word hoping that you are getting better.
The time has strangely flown by and I have been in this country five weeks.
There is no comparison at all between the flying here and flying in England. There we’d have fun of just scraping over villages and waving at the girls. Here we hover out of the sight of man – mainly at around 15000ft.
This is a day bombing squadron and it’s a very good one too and has been extremely lucky lately. However I’ve had several rather hot scraps since being here.
I won’t forget one trip when twenty-five enemy scouts attacked seven of us. We had a very hot time. There were about twelve behind me and the bullets were whistling past my ears. And me firing as fast as I could. Even if I didn’t shoot them I kept them away. To make things worse some were diving through the formation. However we all came back safely, but Fritz was two short. Our wings and the planes were all bullets. Also on Saturday ten of them attacked five of us, but we got three of them down in flames. That’s the stuff – isn’t it!
The Hun will never attack unless he has three to our one. Also he’ll never come across the lines during the day. Anyway, three came over last Friday, but only one of them was able to escape back. Our scouts are more than a match for them. The weather is rather unfavourable this afternoon – too many clouds around so we’re having a holiday. There is a quite a jolly gang here and so it isn’t boring here. We’ve got one great advantage over the Infantry. We’ve got a comfortable place to come to after being on a show. Cosy huts and everything extremely convenient. Also there is far more fun had here. When Huns are met in the sky one doesn’t think of the danger at all – it’s taken more as a kind of game. It’s quite a strange scene around the lines – the ground all holes from shells and bombs with towns and villages shattered – the odd flash to be seen here and there and that’s the only thing we can see from the air to let us know that there’s any sort of life in the place.
After going a bit further we know immediately that we are in Hunland as Archie shells are bursting around us.
It’s interesting to watch the bombs falling. Here we can see the objective – some station or aerodrome or the enemy’s billets – then there is a tug on the toggles and the pills fall, fall – lower and lower. And become smaller until at last they disappear but after a few seconds the burst is seen often to have ignited a good fire, or has blown up a railway or siding. And of course a few have to fall into a nearby field. After reaching the lines on the way back I take control of the machine to bring it home (apart for the landing) and I’m getting quite good at it.
My pilot is a Yankee and quite a good one he is too. After coming back I have to write a report on what we have seen etc etc.
Then a wash and a change and we can enjoy a good meal.
I received a word from Gwilym from home today. I wouldn’t mind a few days leave either.
Well I have nothing more to add this time but my warmest regards to you all there.
Your faithful friend,
R. Emrys.
Translated letter from Welsh by Iwan Hughes.

Pte Albert Roy Bennett Webber 19/07/1916 aged 25
for his great nephew Simon Mitchell
Cpl Enoch James Keen 20/07/1916 aged 22 
Mjr Roy Harrison 20/07/1916 aged 27 
Pte Albert Stiles 21/07/1916 aged 20
for his great great great niece Joanne
Coy Qmr Sjt Harry Vernon Cockbill 10/04/1918 aged 40
Son of Edwin and Mary Anne Cockbill of Oxford, husband of rosa Louise Cockbill of 13 ,Cato road, Balham.
He also served in Egypt (1895) and india (1908).
harry had his children while serving in india.
for his grandson Peter Cockbill, great niece Wendy Mortimer and family
Harry and his wife Rosa Louise
and Harry sitting second from left with pals of Rgt.
Pte Esmond Lewis Anderson 20/07/1916 aged 23
At the time of his death, a very relevant newspaper clipping said:
In Memoriam - Anderson -
In sad but loving memory of my dear son and our dear brother, Private E L Anderson, killed in action France, 20th July 1916. Somewhere in France he is lying, Somewhere in France he fell. He died for the cause of England, and the honor of Australian men. Inserted by his loving mother, sisters and brothers.
In sad but loving memory of our dear brother, Private E L Anderson, killed in action France, 20th July 1916. His King and country called him, The call was not in vain. On Australia's Roll of Honor You will find our hero's name. Inserted by his loving sister and brother-in-law, Blanch and Arthur Chapman (on active service).
for Glennys Gow (Lismore NSW Australia)
Pte Arthur James Matthews 13/05/1916 aged 34
Arthur was born on 11/09/1881 in Breadalbane, New South Wales, Australia, the son of Thomas A. and ElizabethMartha Matthews.
He married Florence Jane Elizabeth Kelly on 29/01/1906 in Sydney, New South Wales.
Former Labourer from Goulburn, NSW,, he enlisted on 18/12/1914.
He embarked with the 3rd Reinforcements on 11/02/1915 aboard HMAT Seang Choon (A49).
Arthur suffered a shrapnel wound to his right foot between 06-09/08/1915 in Gallipoli, Turkey and was admitted to Military Hospital, New End, Hampstead, London, England on 04/09/1915.
On recovery He rejoined his unit in January 1916, he disembarked in Marseilles, France on 30/03/1916.
He was killed in action in Fleurbaix, France.
for his cousin Brian and Julie Kelly

IF You have a casualty picture, please send me a copy, I'll be glad to show it on this page.

IF You want a king size copy of this picture (300/900 ko - 2592/1944 pixels) please e-mail me.

IF You want picture of a particular grave, in this cemetery, please e-mail me.

Casualties informations come usualy from Commonwealth War Graves Commission, see links for more informations © Pierre Vandervelden - Belgium