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Arras Missing

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#1 WipseyRon



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Posted 29 January 2012 - 06:03 pm

I recently did some family research and found out that 2 relatives were named on the Arras Memorial. One was lost at Monchy and the other at Fontaine les Croisilles.

Can anyone explain why during the Arras offensive of 1917 there were so many bodies lost? I understand this action gained ground, so I would have thought that the battlefield clearance would have been more succesful.


#2 dycer



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Posted 29 January 2012 - 06:20 pm

You have to just accept the realities of WW1,in answer to your question.
The Arras Battlefield was fought over many times, during WW1, and many "Brits" lost their lives, during advances or in its defence and whose "graves" have been lost but are now commemorated by "Name" on the Arras Memorial.

#3 Jim Smithson

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 07:37 pm

Welcome to the Forum Ron (is it Ron?)
The ground gained was in the first few days of the 1st Battle of the Scarpe, the 2nd and 3rd were to follow and they made little or no ground and resulted in very large casualty lists, many of whom were never found - thus the Arras Memorial. By the time areas around Cherisy, Oppy, Roeux, and so on could be cleared the Germans had retaken the ground in 1918 and had it taken back by the British and Commonwealth a few months later. Nothing would have been left of what lay there in 1917.

If you let me know the names of your relatives I might be able to shed light on what happened to them.


#4 WipseyRon



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Posted 31 January 2012 - 11:23 pm

Thanks chaps this has answered my question. Jim, I actually did a lot of research on the individual's and managed to visit Arras with a very elderly relative to visit for the first time where his dad was injured and where his uncles fought, died and still lay. One was in the west yorks 12th and died on 3rd April by the Bois du Sart and the other was in the 1st cameronians and died on the attack on Fontaine crocodiles on 20th May. It was quite a superb trip and very emotional.

Thanks for the great offer anyway.