Skip to comments.Cemetery attacked, Muslims suspected
Posted on 08/03/2005 1:13:03 PM PDT by Minutemen
Police consider Muslim link to cemetery attack By Colin Randall in Paris (Filed: 03/08/2005)
The headstones of 42 British soldiers who fell in combat in the First World War have been desecrated in what police in northern France believe may have been the work of Islamist attackers.
Police and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission initially believed that the damage to the Albuera cemetery last Saturday in Bailleul-sir-Berthoult, near Arras, was caused by local vandals after a drunken night out. No slogans admitting responsibility or proclaiming any cause were found.
The desecrated graveyard Shocking scene: the cost of repair is put at £20,000
But the scale and nature of the attack are such that police now refuse to rule out the possibility that Muslim extremists were responsible. At least one Molotov cocktail was used, and the attackers even set fire to a register of war dead and a visitors' book.
Although there have been more serious desecrations of Jewish graveyards in France in recent years in a sign of rising tension between the country's large north African and Jewish communities, this was the worst incident to have taken place at a First World War cemetery. The cost of making good the damaged items is put at £20,000.
"It is a shocking scene," said Christopher Farrell, of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, who visited the cemetery yesterday. "We will be putting up temporary markers immediately, but some of the headstones will have to be rebuilt and re-engraved.
"Two or three broken headstones, that unfortunately happens sometimes, but 42 - that's never occurred. Everybody is shocked. The French are taking this very seriously, and we are giving them our full co-operation."
Michel Dupuis, the mayor of Bailleul-sir-Berthoult, said: "These young men came to fight for our freedom. What has happened is a disgrace. All of us in France are ashamed." Hamlaoui Mekachera, France's minister for war veterans, expressed outrage at the "barbarous and shocking" acts and said he hoped that those responsible would be brought to justice.
Albuera cemetery dates from the Battle of Arras in 1917. There are 253 graves, including one containing a German soldier and 110 of unidentified Britons.
Remains recovered after the war were buried in the cemetery, which had to be expanded to accommodate them. Soldiers from several different units, including the Royal Fusiliers and Staffordshire Regiment, are among the dead.
Eric Blakeley, the curator of the Staffordshire regimental museum, said: "It is disgraceful that people can treat monuments to the war dead in this way."
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission looks after 3,000 constructed cemeteries, war graves and plots in France containing the bodies of 575,000 casualties from both world wars. "Albuera is in a small commune in a very rural area," said a spokesman. "Only about 1,300 people live in the area and locals are as outraged as we are."
The commission, which still suspects an "isolated incident of vandalism by local teenagers rather than anything more sinister", says the damaged headstones will be repaired or replaced.
22 March 2005: Anti-Semitic violence on rise in France External links Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Hales & Hindmarsh
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2005.
Drunken muslims? That is an affront to allah !!!!
I did not know islam allowed one to go out and get bombed !!!
Yep, I went there.
In a related story, France now consdired "Muslim Land".
I'd say 10 more years and there will be an Islamic government running France.
So the ROP is now attacking soldiers dead for over 70 years...? One has to admire their courage... /sarcasm
The muslim children blow up so fast these days.
Yep I followed you there.
Some background on the Battle of Arras in 1917:
In December 1916 Robert Nivelle replaced Joseph Joffre as Commander-in-Chief of Allied forces on the Western Front. Nivelle immediately began to plan a major offensive on the German front-line. An essential part of what became known as the Nivelle Offensive, was an attempt to capture Vimy Ridge. As the ridge was 60 metres high, Nivelle argued that if Allied forces could control this area, they would have a commanding view of the German activities behind the front line.
On the evening of 8th April, 1917, 30,000 members of the Canadian Corps began to move to the front line. At 5.30 the next morning, 2,800 allied guns began pounding the German trenches and soon afterwards the Canadian infantry went over the top into No-Mans-Land. Supported by a creeping-barrage, the 1st Division, led by Major-General A. W. Currie, captured the Zwolfer Graben trench system within 30 minutes. After another hour had passed, the intermediate line south-east of Thelus was also under Canadian control.
Major-General L. J. Lipsett and the 3rd Division took the huge Schwaben Tunnel. However, several concrete Machine Gun Posts had survived, and these were causing heavy casualties. The Canadian 4th Division was especially badly hit. One battalion, the 87th, incurred losses of over 50% in less than a few minutes.
General Edmund Allenby and the British Third Army attacked on either side of Arras and the Scarpe and managed to advance 3km on the first day. However, progress was much slower south of the river and the Germans were able to hold the village strongpoint of Monch-le-Preux, against repeated British attacks.
In an attempt to stretch German defences, General Hubert Gough and the British Fifth Army launched an attack further south. Even though Gough used tanks in the attack, it was repulsed by the Germans at Bullecourt. The Australians, also took part in this operation and suffered its worst day's losses on the Western Front.
The Canadians was still making good progress and by 12th April they were firmly in control of Vimy Ridge. Forced to the bottom of the hill, the Germans were unable to launch a successful counterattack. That night, under the cover of darkness, the Germans withdrew from the area.
On 14th April, Sir Douglas Haig called a halt to British attacks to await news of the French Aisne Offensive. When this ended in failure, the First and Third Armies were ordered to try and move forward again. After two days heavy fighting another 2km was gained.
By the time the offensive was halted at the end of May, the British had suffered heavy losses: First Army: 46,826; Third Army: 87,226; Fifth Army: 24,608. The Canadian Corps lost a total of 11,297 men killed, missing or wounded.
I went there, too : )
"Faith Hate" up 600%! I wonder what it is now?
Muhammadanism is a cancer and a blight and many Muslims are a cancer and a blight. They are mired in 7th century revanchism.
when will we wake to this new world war?
CAIR will be whining about this one. No, not the desecration, but the accusation.
Only someone possessed by a demon would attack a cemetary.
Every Muslim in France should be deported after this.
Some info on the cemetary. What is odd is that this is a small Commonwealth War Graves Cemetary likely to be mostly known to locals in a rural area where there are few Muslims:
The village of Bailleul-sire-Bethoult is 8 kilometres north-east of Arras and the Cemetery is west of the village.
Bailleul-Sire-Berthoult was occupied by the 2nd Division on 13 April 1917 and Albuera Cemetery was made in April-November 1917 by fighting units; the origin of its current name is not known and it was often called Bailleul Military Cemetery. The cemetery was enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields of Arras. It is divided into two plots, called (exceptionally) North and South. Albuera Cemetery contains 253 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 110 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 15 casualties known to be buried among them. The cemetery also contains one German war grave.
To personalize the event here is a thumbnail sketch of one of the British fallen buried there:
John served as:
25207 Private James J.
North Staffordshire Regiment.
He was later transferred to the East Yorkshire Regiment as 18965 Private James J, (a not unusual practice throughout the war).
The 1891 Census shows that the James family consisted of Father, Mother and three daughters living at Cheadle Rd. John's date of birth is not known.
In early May 1917 the 10th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment were engaged in the "follow on" offensive to the April Battle of ARRAS. On May 3rd John was killed and buried with other members of his battalion in ALBUERA Cemetery, BAILLEUL-SIR-BERTHOULT, a village 5 miles north-east of the city of ARRAS.
What courageous fellows these muslims be.
First they came for the Jews. Then they came for the soldiers. Next...ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.