Dud Corner Cemetery and Les Doubles Crassiers
Dud Corner Cemetery is near the village of Loos-en-Gohelle, southwest of Lille, in the Pas de Calais Department of northern France. It was so named after the large number of unexploded shells found in the area after the Armistice.
The Battle of Loos [25/09 – 8/10 1915] is notable for the first use of gas by the British, in retaliation to the Germans’ first ever use, at Ypres. Clouds of chlorine were released. The effect was mixed. A change of wind resulted in British troops being affected by their own gas.
Loos was also the first use of battalions of ‘Kitchener’s New Army’, battalions of men who had responded to Kitchener’s call to volunteer. Attacks across open ground raked by machine gun fire and artillery barrage resulted in appalling casualties. On 26th Sept twelve attacking battalions suffered 8,000 casualties out of 10,000 men in four hours. By 28th Sept the British had retreated to their start lines having lost over 20,000 men including three Major-Generals.
As a result of the failure of this operation, at such cost, Field Marshall Sir John French was replaced as Commander in Chief, British Expeditionary Force, by Sir Douglas Haig, General Officer Commanding 1st Army.