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Wilfred Owen's Places: A Band of Friends - Other soldiers buried in Ors Communal Cemetery

There are over 60 WW1 casualties commemorated in Ors Communal Cemetery. Of these, a small number are unidentified.

The casualties are listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website.

The grave of 2nd Lt. James Kirk

The grave of 2nd Lt. James Kirk

2nd Lt. James Kirk won a posthumous Victoria Cross when attempts were being made to bridge the canal. Like Wilfred Owen he is buried in Ors Communal Cemetery. His citation reads:-

"…Second Lieutenant Kirk took a Lewis gun and under intense machine-gun fire paddled across the canal and opened fire. Further ammunition was paddled across to him and he continued to cover the bridging party until he was killed. His courage and self-sacrifice enabled two platoons to cross the bridge and prevented many casualties."

The grave of Lt.Colonel J.N. Marshall

The grave of Lt.Colonel J.N. Marshall

Lt.Colonel J.N. Marshall, the Commanding Officer of the 16th Lancashire Fusiliers was also awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his leadership in the attempted bridging of the canal. The citation reads:-

"…The first party were soon killed or wounded, but the colonel's personal example was such that more volunteers were instantly forthcoming. Under intense fire and with complete disregard for his own safety he stood on the bank encouraging his men and helping in the work. When the bridge was repaired he attempted to lead his men across, but was killed while so doing."

Before taking command of the 16th Lancashire Fusiliers, Marshall had recently been second in command of the 2nd Manchesters. Wilfred Owen described him as "…….…..bold, robust, dashing, unscrupulous, cruel, jovial, immoral, vast-chested, handsome-headed, of free coarse speech……" (28th Sept. 1918 - Letter No. 661). Like Owen and Kirk, Col. Marshall also lies in Ors Communal Cemetery.

“Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you’ll never forget.”

From, “Aftermath” by Siegfried Sassoon (1919)

If you have any additional information about the men buried alongside Wilfred Owen, please email woa@1914-18.co.uk and we will add this to our website.

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