This cemetery contains 5578 Great War burials (4735 from the UK,  442 Canad1ans , 307 from Australia, 74  from New Zealand, 15 South Africans and 5 from India), There are another 224 Second World War burials here too.

From October 1914 to the end of the war, Boulogne and Wimereux formed one of the chief hospital areas. Until June 1918, the dead from the hospitals at Boulogne itself were buried in the Cimetiere de L'Est, one of the town cemeteries, the Commonwealth graves forming a long, narrow strip along the right hand edge of the cemetery.

Of the named burials 1 Officer and 5 other ranks are soldiers of the 1st Battalion, killed in 1914.



1st Battalion, The Cheshire Regiment
Officers, N.C.O.s and Men of the 1st Battalion, Buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery

©: G E Conway, 2009
Their name liveth for evermore
Private E J Conway (circa. 1905)
Back to
"Grandad's War"
All of the men named below were awarded the 1914 Star (with "clasps and roses"), the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
... about how to get to Boulogne Eastern Cemetery and other information
Lieutenant Alec Arthur Crichton MAITLAND-ADDISON        

Date of Death:
27 October 1914 (Died of wounds)
Grave No:
I.B.5.
Unit:
1st Battalion
Age:
28
Personal History:
Alec was born in Brighton, Sussex in the June quarter 1886, son of Mrs. M. Maitland-Addison of 12, Arundel Terrace, Brighton; and the late Major Alfred Chamberlain Maitland-Addison (71st Highland Light Inf.). He had two older brothers and an older sister, Lionel Arthur Hurst Bisset, Sybil L.E. and Guy Robert H. and a younger brother, Roy Crichton Alfred.

Other than that little has been found of this Officer and he cannot be found in the 1901 or 1911 Censuses. Brother Lionel is shown in the 1911 Census (RG 14/5621) as a serving Lieutenant on board HMS Fisgard. Younger brother Roy was killed in action on 1st May 1917 whilst serving as a rifleman with the 6th Battalion, London Regiment.

Military History:

Currently his Army records are unavailable, and do not appear to have survived the Second World War bombing, neither is his Medal Index Card available. Alec was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in the Cheshire Regiment on 16 September 1914 and promoted Lieutenant for "distinguished service in the field". (Source: 'Roll of Honour'.)

He died in Hospital at Boulogne on 27th October from "wounds received at on the 25th". (According to his "Roll of Honour" entry this was at Ypres, but the Battalion did not get there until 6th November, on the 25th October the Battalion was in reserve east of Bethune.) Crookenden, page 28, gives the date of Lieutenant Addison being wounded as the 20th, on which date the Battalion was in action at Voilaines. The War Diary confirms this: "Held VOILAINES, artillery shelled LA BASSEE. Battalion on outposts. 2/Lieut MAY, 2/Lieut ADDISON wounded, 3 men killed, 24 men wounded.  3 p.m. German attack repulsed. Battalion on outposts."

Grave inscription reads: "At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember him".
Link to CWGC details
 
Read more about ..
Private 10006 Samuel HILDITCH

Date of Death:
10 December 1914 (Died of wounds)
Grave No:
III.B.61.
Unit:
3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion
Age:
25
Personal History:
Samuel was born on 15th September 1889 at Sandbach, Cheshire, the eldest son of Edwin (Blacksmith on Railway) and Jane Hilditch of 13 Moss Square, Crewe, Cheshire. He had (in 1911) five younger siblings, Henry, Abraham, Emma, Eliza and Edwin. (1911 Census RG 14/21771).

At the time of his enlistment in July 1914 he was stated to have brown eyes and black hair and his religion was Church of England. He was employed as a fireman, presumably on the railway.
Military History:
According to his Service Record Samuel had been enlisted in the old 4th Battalion until it was disbanded. He re-enlisted into the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion at Crewe, Cheshire on 9 July 1914, aged 24 years 300 days.. His terms of service were for 6 years and after 90 days training he entered France on 7th October 1914 and was probably one of the 248 reinforcements to join the depleted 1st Battalion on 16th October.

On 29th August he had been charged with being absent from his guard, "whilst on active service" from 6 p.m., returning drunk at 11.30 p.m. and received 14 days detention.

He was wounded on 14th or 15th November whilst the Battalion was in action at Ypres, and died at No. 7 Stationery Hospital from gunshot wounds to the back on 10th December 1914 (List 9687).  In total he had served just 155 days with the Regiment, 65 in France.
Link to CWGC details
 
Private 10167 Stephen JONES

Date of Death:
29 October 1914 (Died of wounds)
Grave No:
III.A.20.
Unit:
n/k
Age:
24
Personal History:
According to the 1901 Census (RG 13/4341) Stephen was born at Sheffield, Yorkshire (SDGW and Service Record says Bebington, Cheshire), in January 1895 the eldest son of William (Road labourer) and Fanny Anne Jones of 5 Oak Street, off Watson Street, Birkenhead, Cheshire. At the time of his death (SDGW) he was living in Rock Ferry, Cheshire and had 4 younger brothers, Watkin, Herbert, Reuben and Steven (?), and 4 sisters.

At the time of his enlistment he was employed as a General Labourer. When he joined the Cheshires he was 5' 4¼" tall (1.63 m.), weighed 113 lbs. (8 st. 1lbs.) had a 'fresh' complexion, brown eyes and brown hair. His religion was Church of England.
Military History:
According to his Service Record Stephen enlisted at Birkenhead, Cheshire on 26 August 1913, aged 18 years 7 months. His terms of service were for 7 + 5 years (i.e. 7 years Active Service followed by 5 years on Reserve) and after 90 days training he was posted to the 1st Battalion at Londonderry on 15th November 1913. (For some reason he was absent from training between 6th - 11th October.)

His time with the Regiment in Londonderry was not without some difficulty, however. On 28th February 1914 he was guilty of 'not complying with an order', for which he was confined to barracks (CB) for 7 days. On 5th March he failed to 'go to School' and on the 10th March he was absent from roll call and received 3 days CB; again on 21 March absent from fatigues and late - 5 days CB. 14th May 1914 - absent, lying and failing to attend dentist - 8 days; 'dirty equipment' on 30th May earned him another 3 days and 3 more on 15th June for 'neglect of duty'.

Most serious was his Field General Court Martial on 7th September 1914, after the Battalion had arrived in France. He was charged with, "When on active service drunkenness." He was sentenced to 3 months field punishment No. 1.

As a regular soldier he sailed to France with the 1st Battalion at the outbreak of War and his Medal Card shows he entered France 16 August so was one of those who escaped from the action at Audregnies.

He was one of the 12 N.C.O.s & men wounded on 15th October whilst the Battalion was in action at Festubert, and treated at the 15th Field Ambulance. He died at No. 7 Stationery Hospital, Boulogne, from a depressed fracture of the skull caused by a gunshot wound on 29th October 1914 (List 3927). In total he had served 1 year 55 days with the Regiment, after excluding his 6 days absence in October 1913, 75 days in France.
Link to CWGC details
 
 
Sergeant 7270 John William PURCHES A.R.

Date of Death:
22 October 1914 (Died of wounds)
Grave No:
III.A.1
Unit:
'D' Company
Age:
29
Personal History:
According to the SDGW database John was born in Newton, Hyde, Cheshire in 1885, the eldest son of Hannah Purches (a widow). He had three elder sisters, Elizabeth A., Edith and Mary Vanda and a younger brother, Joseph, who also enlisted into the Cheshire Regiment. John's father was Thomas Purches (a Blacksmith) who died in the September quarter 1889. In 1901 John was employed as a Cotton Spinner and the family was living at 42 Union Street, Hyde. (1901 Census RG 13/3282) In 1911 (Census RG 14-24353) John was living at 13 Katherine Street, Ashton-under-Lyne and working as a 'Police Constable'.

At the time of his enlistment he was employed as a Labourer. He was 5' 8¼" tall (1.73 m.). After 3 months training he had grown to 5' 11" tall (1.80 m.).  He weighed 123 lbs. (8 stone 11lbs), rising to 10stone 9lbs (149 lbs.), had a 'fair' complexion, grey eyes and sandy hair. His stated religion was Church of England. (His height was probably a bit of an exaggeration as on transfer to the Army Reserve, aged 21 years 9 months, he was 5 ft. 9 ins (1.75 m.)!

On 2nd September 1911 John married May Mosley at St Mary's Parish Church, Naughton, Lancashire and they lived at 9 Sackville Street, Ashton-under-Lyne. (After the War she went to live at 14 Adelaide Street, Blackpool, Lancashire) There is no record of them having any children. May was awarded a pension of 11/- (55p) per week on 10th May 1915 and "Ministry of Pensions - Widows Form: 3" does not mention children. The pension increased to 16/3d (81p) from 14th April 1917. May later remarried, becoming Mrs Allenby, residing at 27 Cavendish Street, Ashton-under-Lyne.

Military History:
John enlisted into the 2nd Battalion the Cheshire Regiment at Hyde, Cheshire on 4th November 1903, aged 18 years 7 months on a 3 + 9 engagement (3 years Active Service and 9 years on Reserve). He was at the time already serving with the 6th (TF) Battalion, the Manchester Regiment.
Link to CWGC details
Private 7031 Luke SWEENEY A.R.

Date of Death:
23 October 1914 (Died of wounds)
Grave No:
III.A.6.
Unit:
n/k
Age:
36
Personal History:
Luke was born in Davenham, Cheshire in the June quarter 1878, the youngest son of Michael (a Labourer) and Hannah Sweeney. He had four older brothers and sisters, Patrick, Margaret, John and Michael. (1891 Census RG 12/2839)

At the time of his enlistment he was employed as a Labourer. He was 5' 4" tall (1.625 m.), weighed 121 lbs. (8 stone 9lbs), and had a 'sallow' complexion, grey eyes and brown hair.
On the 5th August 1906 Luke married Mary Jane Ashbrook at Northwich and they lived at 9 Firths Fields, Davenham, Cheshire. The 1911 Census (RG 14/21671) shows them living at 9 Whalley Road, Northwich with his older brother, Patrick. Both brothers are employed as 'Labourers'. There is no record of any children.

In the September quarter 1916 Mary Jane re-married Thomas Robinson and they lived at 8 Park St., Castle, Northwich, Cheshire.

Military History:
John enlisted into the 2nd Battalion the Cheshire Regiment at Northwich, Cheshire on 15th December 1902, aged 21 years 8 months on a 3 + 9 engagement (3 years Active Service and 9 years on Reserve). He was at the time already serving with the 3rd Battalion of the Regiment (Private 6784). At the time of his enlistment his stated occupation was 'Labourer'.

After initial training he was posted to India on 23rd April 1904, returning on 31st January 1907. He transferred to the Reserve 'B' List on 3rd February 1907, after 3 yrs. 51 days. His conduct described as 'Very Good'.
 
Link to CWGC details
Medal ribbon bar
Five of the men buried here died within a few days of each other (23 - 29 October 1914) of wounds received, no doubt, from the fighting around Festubert and Voilaines a few days earlier.  The other Casualty, Private Hilditch, died in December.

Use the links on the left to read a little more about each man and see where he is buried.
Click on image to see full medal set
 
Return to top of page
Return to top of page
Return to top of page
Return to top of page
Return to top of page
Link to Cemetery name list
.... use this link to get a full list of all Soldiers buried in this Cemetery and more photos of the Cemetery
Entrance to Boulogne Eastern Cemetery
Pt Hilditch's gravestone
Pt Hilditch's Medal Index Card
Pt Jones' gravestone
Pt Jones' Medal Index Card
.. about Courts Martial punishments
Sgt Purches' gravestone
Sgt. Purches' Medal Index card
Pt Sweeney's gravestone
Pt Sweeney's Medal Index Card
Private 7793 Alfred TURNER A.R.

Date of Death:
20 October 1914 (Died of wounds)
Grave No:
III.AB.10.
Unit:
n/k
Age:
34
Personal History:
Alfred was born in the September quarter 1880 in Hyde, Cheshire, the youngest son of John (died in 1880s) and Mary Turner, of Hyde, Cheshire. He had four older siblings, Sarah, Mary, Ellen and Samuel, and a younger sister, Alice. Before enlisting he was employed as a Coal Miner (1901 Census RG 13/3792)

In the March quarter 1907 Alfred married Martha Matilda Willis. There are a number of possible births recorded for the period but no details as yet.
Military History:
Currently his Army records are unavailable and were most likely destroyed by Second World War bombing. All that is known is that he enlisted at Hyde, Cheshire. From his Army Service Number it is likely he enlisted on a 3 + 9 engagement (3 years Active Service and 9 years on Reserve) and probably in 1904, as a result he would have returned to the Reserve List in 1907, perhaps just before his marriage.

His Medal Card shows he entered France on 20th September, so may have been one of the 21 men who joined the Battalion from the Reserve on 24th September whilst in billets at Le Mesnil

He was probably one of the 64 N.C.O.s & men wounded whilst the Battalion was in action at Festubert in October. He died at No. 7 Stationery Hospital, Boulogne, from wounds received on 20th October 1914.
 
Link to CWGC details
Return to top of page
Pt Turner's gravestone
Pt Turner's Medal Index Card
After initial training he was posted to India on 20th September 1904, returning on 25th January 1907. He transferred to the Reserve 'B' List on 28th January 1907, after 3 yrs. 86 days. He had obtained 3rd Class Musketry and 3rd Class Education certificates and his conduct described as 'Good'.

As a reservist he was recalled to the 1st Battalion at the outbreak of War and his Medal Card shows he entered France 16 August., so was one of those who escaped from the action at Audregnies. On 5th September 1914 he was promoted to (paid) acting Lance Corporal and 6 days later to Acting Sergeant.

He was probably one of the 64 N.C.O.s & men wounded between 17th and 20th October whilst the Battalion was in action at Festubert and Voilaines. He died at No. 13 General Hospital, Boulogne, from wounds received in action at 10.30 p.m. on 22nd October 1914.

Footnote:
His surviving Service Records show some confusion with his younger brother, Joseph, with regard to dates of promotion to Lance Corporal and Sergeant. Also, as to which of them was killed in action and which was taken prisoner. 'A' Company R.S.M. 4281 F Howard, captured at Audregnies on 24th August 1914, wrote from his internment.camp ("Hotel Galleries, Group 1, Scheveningen, Holland") on 9th June 1918 to certify that "Sgt. Purches was promoted to Sergeant whilst the 1st Battalion was on the Aisne in September 1914 and was with me in the Church after capture and wearing his Sergeant's chevrons on 23rd - 24th October 1914." These were the days immediately after the Battalion's 5 day action to take La Bassée.

This was clearly not John William who had died of wounds in Boulogne 2 days earlier. A number of letters transpired in an attempt to separate the appointments of both brothers - purely it seems to make a pay allowance against the estate if a mistake had been made. The culmination of this correspondence is dated 18th December 1918, confirming that John was a 'Substantive Sergeant' at the time of his death.

His 3 years of Active Service, however, had not been without its difficulties. At Chester on 25th June 1903 he received 4 days CB (confined to barracks) for being incorrectly dressed. Five days later another 7 days CB for "urinating in barrack room". On 23rd September he was "drunk in barracks" (admonished) and on 31st October he overstayed his furlough, for which he received 168 hours Imprisonment with Hard Labour (I.H.L.).

Into 1904 these minor offences continued, at Aldershot by now - on 1st January he "urinated in his bed" (perhaps after a good New Year) (7 days CB and pay for bedding), and on 10th March was 20½ hours late back from furlough again. A week later he was drunk in barracks again (admonished and fined 5/- [25p]). On 12th April 1904, at Southampton, probably en route to India, he broke out of barracks at 8.30 a.m., missed parade at 10.30 a.m. and did not return until an hour later. He had to wait until 14th April when arriving at Colaba, for his 5 days CB for this one. On 15th November 1904 he was charged with being drunk, "ill-treating dumb animals", using obscene language and creating a disturbance. For this he received 96 hours I.H.L. and a fine of 2/6d (12½p).

As a reservist he was recalled to the 1st Battalion at the outbreak of War and his Medal Card shows he entered France 16 August, so was one of those who escaped from the action at Audregnies.

He was probably one of the 64 N.C.O.s & men wounded between 17th and 20th October whilst the Battalion was in action at Festubert and Voilaines. According to the CWGC records and headstone he died at No. 7 Stationery Hospital, Boulogne, from wounds received on 22nd October 1914. However, his MIC and Service Records show he did in fact die on the 23rd shortly after admission to the Allied Forces Base Hospital, Boulogne, from "compound fractures to both arms and both legs from shrapnel". (List 3870)

His headstone reads:  "From his loving wife. Gone but not forgotten."