World War I (WWI), also known as the First World War, was a global war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. From the time of its occurrence until the approach of World War II in 1939, it was called simply the World War or the Great War, and thereafter the First World War or World War I.
- War Graves by Alan Wood -
I had a desire to visit some of the war graves of Mapperley men, mentioned on the memorials under the church lych gate in Mapperley, who died in the 2 World Wars and when we were nearby, Kay and I visited the grave of Luther Martin at the town of St Pol sur Ternoise, and it is about 20 kilometres from Arras.
There are 2 sites in St Pol where there are British war dead:- The community cemetery at the top of the Rue du Cimetiere and slightly to the right. Here there are civilian, usually French graves, plus French military graves with Christian and Moslem soldiers lying side by side, unsegregated, with their appropriate religious symbols on their headstones, and, separately, British soldiers. This is where Luther Martin is buried. Here are also the graves of 3 soldiers of the Durham Light Infantry who broke, after years of shellfire, and threw down their weapons. They were shot at dawn for this offence!!! Nowadays this condition would be recognised as shell shock! This site eventually reached full capacity and a further military cemetery was started in, I think 1918, in St Pol. The cemetery is definitely not in Calais as, I believe, is stated on or in connection with the Colliery Memorial. However.it takes less than 1 1/2 hours to get to St Pol sur Ternoise if one travels on the Autoroute des Anglais from Calais.
Luther's brother, Britus, who fell in the same war!!!!, does not have a known grave but he is, I believe named on the Menin Gate in Ypres, where there is a commemorative service with bugles, etc., every evening.
Alan Wood February 2013