Memorial Vis En ArtoisMemorial Vis En Artois
©Memorial Vis En Artois
Vis-En-ArtoisBritish Cemetery and Memorial

Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery and Memorial, Haucourt

After struggling to halt the German offensives of the spring of 1918, the Allies, reinforced by the arrival of American divisions on the line, began the offensive that would lead them to victory on August 8.

The British army, in charge of the front from Flanders to the Somme and which now included large Australian and Canadian contingents, attacked successively in Picardy, then in the Arras and Bapaume sectors before moving, in the autumn, to assault the Hindenburg Line near Cambrai.

Occupied since September 1914, Vis-en-Artois, on the old Roman road from Arras to Cambrai, was liberated at the end of August 1918 by the Canadians. They buried the bodies of their soldiers who had fallen during the battle between Vis and Haucourt. This necropolis will progressively receive the remains of soldiers killed in the sector, for the most part in August-September 1918, and scattered in small cemeteries in the surroundings. Today the Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery contains 2,369 graves, 885 of which contain identified victims. It was designed by the architect R. Truelove, who designed the Touret Memorial in Richebourg.

The Allies "on the march to victory

The central alley of the cemetery leads to the impressive Vis-en-Artois Memorial. In a semicircular space flanked by two pylons bearing a cenotaph, the Stone of Remembrance is placed before a sculpture of St. George slaying the Dragon. Each pylon marks the entrance to a portico with Doric columns that house the panels of the memorial where the names of 9,813 English, Irish, and South African soldiers who died between August and the Armistice in the Somme and Artois and whose bodies were not recovered are engraved.

Canadians missing during the same period are honored at the Vimy Memorial, Australians at the Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux (Somme) and New Zealanders at Grévillers near Bapaume.