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Battle of Aveluy Wood - Royal Marines Light Infantry

Unit/ Formation: Royal Marines

Location: France

Period/ Conflict: World War I

Year: 1918

Date/s: 5th to 7th April 1918

2nd Battalion RMLI - April 1918

1st April: Bn. cleaning up, refitting etc. & inspections. Capt. GA NEWLING MC RM joined Bn. & assumed duties of 2nd in command. O.O. No.130 issued.

2nd April: Bn. proceeded by march route to TOUTENCOURT.


3rd April: Bn. proceeded by march route to ENGELBELMER. Mjr. N.S. CLUTTERBUCK RMLI joined & assumed command of Bn. Lt./Cmdr. J. COOTE MC RNVR returned to ANSON Bn. O.O. No.131 issued.


4th April: Bn. salvage & working parties. Lts. GREENWOOD & SMITH RWR joined Bn. 1 casualty.

5th April: Bn. salvage & working parties. 4 casualties.

6th April: O.O. No.132 issued. Bn. moved into positions in N.W. edge of AVELUY WOOD. About 9am the Bn. attacked the enemy position in the wood & succeeded in driving him out, inflicting casualties & capturing prisoners & 9 MGs. 5 Officers wounded (Lts. PROFFITT, BRAID, GREENWOOD, 2/Lt. E. BING & Sub/Lt. OLDHAM) 15 ORs killed, 55 wounded, 26 unaccounted for. 27 ORs joined Bn.

Avuley Wood

7th April: Bn. holding front line position. Relieved pm by ANSON Bn. & moved to billets in FORCEVILLE. O. O. No.133 issued.


8th April: Bn. cleaning up, refitting etc. 12 Officers & 240 ORs (army reinforcements) joined Bn. Capt. EL ANDREWS & 65 RMLI reinforcements joined Bn.

9th April Cleaning up, refitting etc. O.O. No.134 issued. Relieved HOOD Bn. in front line.

Avuley Wood

10th April: Bn. in front line, consolidating etc. 1 casualty.

11th April: Bn. in front line. Relieved by 4th Bn. Bedford Regt. & proceeded to FORCEVILLE. O.O. No.135 issued.

Aveluy Wood Cemetery (Lancashire Dump), Mesnil-Martinsart

The cemetery was begun in an area known to the Army as 'Lancashire Dump' in June 1916, a few days before the beginning of the Battle of the Somme, and was used by fighting units and field ambulances until the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in February 1917. It then remained unused until the German advance in the spring of 1918. On the night of 26-27 March, the Germans entered Aveluy Wood and by 5 April it was mostly in their hands, in spite of the stubborn defence of the 12th (Eastern), 47th (London) and 63rd (Royal Naval) Divisions. The wood was attacked in vain by several divisions before it was finally cleared at the end of August, and in September the V Corps Burial Officer added graves of April-September 1918 to Row H of Plot I.

After the Armistice, Plots II and III were added when isolated graves were brought in from Aveluy Wood itself, and in 1923 Rows I to M of Plot I (124 graves) were added by concentrations from a wider area.

Aveluy Wood Cemetery now contains 380 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 172 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 20 casualties known to be buried among them.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Royal Marines:

GUINEY R. Private, 09/02/1917, 1st R.M. Bn. R.N. Div.

HOLLYFIELD RF, Private, 07/04/1918, 1st R.M. Bn. R.N. Div.

HAYNES SIDNEY ARTHUR, Private, Aged 20, 06/04/1918, 2nd R.M. Bn. R.N. Div.

HAYWARD AW, Private, Aged 22, 07/04/1918, 2nd R.M. Bn. R.N. Div.

HOGSETT THOMAS JOHN, Corporal, Aged 32, 18/02/1917, 1st R.M. Bn. R.N. Div.

NEAL JOHN FREDERICK, Private, Aged 25, 18/02/1917, 1st R.M. Bn. R.N. Div.

PITCHER AJ, Private, 06/04/1918, 2nd R.M. Bn. R.N. Div.

PITCHER SAMUEL JOHN, Private, Aged 19, 08/04/1918, 1st R.M. Bn. R.N. Div.

TURNER TA. Private, 18/02/1917, 2nd R.M. Bn. R.N. Div.

BRODLEY, Private, 20/03/1918, 1st R.M. Bn. R.N. Div.

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