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Ors Communal Cemetery

Location

The village of Ors is between Le Cateau and Landrecies. The Communal Cemetery lies to the north-west of the village. It should not be confused with Ors British Cemetery which is 1 km north-east of the church.

Ors Communal Cemetery

 

Historical Information

Ors was cleared by the 6th Division on the 1st November, 1918.

There are now over 60, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, a small number are unidentified.

The plot covers an area of 189 square metres.

I have photos of all the graves for this particular cemetery

Most people come to Ors because it is the resting place of the war poet Wilfred Owen; there are however two Victoria Cross winners lying alongside him. Both of the recipients were killed in the same action as Wilfred Owen.

Ors Communal Cemetery

 


James Kirk VC

James Kirk VC
Second Lieutenant
10th Bn attached 2nd Bn Manchester Regiment
Died on 4th November 1918, aged 21
Son of James and Rachel Kirk
of 530 Edge Lane, Droylesden, Manchester
Born at Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire

Grave: A 22

The London Gazette 31108
3rd January 1919

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty North of Ors on 4th November 1918, whilst attempting to bridge the Oise Canal.

To cover the bridging of the canal he took a Lewis gun, and, under intense machine-gun fire, paddled across the canal on a raft, and at a range of ten yards expended all his ammunition.

Further ammunition was paddled across to him and he continuously maintained a covering fire for the bridging party from a most exposed position till killed at his gun.

The supreme contempt of danger and magnificent self-sacrifice displayed by this gallant officer prevented many casualties and enabled two platoons to cross the bridge before it was destroyed.


James Marshall VC MC and Bar

James Marshall VC MC and Bar
Lieutenant Colonel Irish Guards
Attached to 16th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers
[Had also served in 2nd Manchesters]
Died on 4th November 1918, aged 31
Officier Order of Leopold, Chevalier Order of Leopold, Croix de Guerre (Belgium).
Husband of Edith Marshall
of Lascelles Lodge, Matching Green, Harlow, Essex.

Grave: Top right hand corner of the cemetery

The London Gazette 31178
13th February 1919

For most conspicuous bravery, determination and leadership in the attack on the Sambre-Oise Canal, near Catillon, on the 4th November 1918, when a partly constructed bridge came under concentrated fire and was broken before the advanced troops of his battalion could cross.

Lt Col Marshall at once went forward and organised parties to repair the bridge. The first party were soon killed or wounded, but by personal example he inspired his command, and volunteers were instantly forthcoming.

Under intense fire and with complete disregard of his own safety, he stood on the bank encouraging his men and assisting in the work, and when the bridge was repaired attempted to rush across at the head of his battalion and was killed while so doing.

The passage of the canal was of vital importance, and the gallantry displayed by all ranks was largely due to the inspiring example set by Lt Col Marshall.


 


Wilfred Owen

Lieutenant Wilfred Owen MC
5th Bn Manchester Regiment
Attached 2nd Bn Manchesters
Died: Monday 4 November 1918, aged 25
Son of Mr and Mrs Tom Owen
Monkmoor Rd, Shrewsbury
Native of Oswestry
Enlisted in The Artists’ Rifles in October 1915.
Commissioned into the Manchester Regiment in June 1916.
Was a poet of repute, although during his lifetime, only a few of his poems appeared in print.
The Atheneum of December 1919, nominated Owen’s work Strange Meeting as the finest of the war.

Grave: A 3

On his gravestone are the words from his poem: The End

Shall life renew
These bodies?
Of a truth
All death will he annul.

The original has a question mark at the end of the last line as well. The change being made by his mother. She had heard of his death, as bells pealed out across the country to mark Armistice day a week afterwards.

 

Other cemeteries in the area


Recent Additions

Bailleul Road West Cemetery

Huy (La Sarte) Communal Cemetery

Les Baraques Military Cemetery

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