Loos-en-Gohelle is a village 5 km north-west of Lens. Dud Corner Cemetery is located about 1 km west of the village, to the north-east of the N943 the main Lens to Béthune road.
This is a very busy road and the cemetery and memorial are situated on the crest of the hill. There is a parking area in front of the cemetery but please do not even think about trying to accomplish a U-Turn. It is far safer to carry on further and come back again.
The cemetery is best approached from Loos/Lens as it will be on the right hand side of the road. If coming from Vermelles/Mazingarbe continue past and use the roundabout to turn around.
Loos is pronounced more like Loss the Loose.
Dud Corner Cemetery stands almost on the site of a German strong point, the Lens Road Redoubt, captured by the 15th (Scottish) Division on the first day of the battle: 25th September 1915.
The name Dud Corner is believed to be due to the large number of unexploded enemy shells found in the neighbourhood after the Armistice.
The Loos Memorial commemorates over 20,000 officers and men who have no known grave, who fell in the area from the River Lys to the old southern boundary of the First Army, east and west of Grenay.
On either side of the cemetery is a wall 15 feet high, to which are fixed tablets on which are carved the names of those commemorated. At the back are four small circular courts, open to the sky, in which the lines of tablets are continued, and between these courts are three semicircular walls or apses, two of which carry tablets, while on the centre apse is erected the Cross of Sacrifice.
The memorial was designed by Sir Herbert Baker with sculpture by Charles Wheeler. It was unveiled by Sir Nevil Macready on 4 August 1930.
Amongst the thousands of names here are a few that catch the eye.
John Kipling, My Boy Jack, the 18 year old son of Poet Laureate Rudyard Kipling. Although his name still appears on the wall it is no longer on the CWGC Database for the Memorial as the CWGC have stood by their (in some circles controversial) identification of the grave at St Mary’s ADS Cemetery.
Son of 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, of Glamis Castle, Forfarshire
Husband of Lady Christian Bowes-Lyon
Educated at Eton. Previously served with 2nd Bn in India
Brother of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (future Queen Consort of King George VI : the Queen Mother).
In 2012 a headstone was dedicated to Captain Bowes-Lyon in the Quarry Cemetery at Vermelles following lengthy research and documentation by the family. His name will eventually be removed from the memorial.
There are three recipients of the Victoria Cross commemorated.
There are two soldiers commemorated on the walls who were executed during the war.
The toll on families during the war should never be forgotten and I highlight just a few cases. Looking through the register and looking at the walls you can surely find more.
You will notice that all the following names are to be found on the one panel — No 31.