Topic: 2nd Lieutenant Cecil Polson
A soldier of the Great War killed in action in the fighting around Bapaume.
2nd Lieutenant Cecil Polson - 38868
Cecil was born at Darfield on 21 November 1878, son of George McLeod and Rebecca Polson. He was educated at the Darfield District School. The flags were flown at half mast at Darfield Memorial Hall and Darfield District School on reciept of the news of his death in action. He had married Alice Polson Prince on 14 February 1917. He was a member for some years of the Christchurch Cycle Corps, and also of the Caledonian Society, being a member of the original pipe-band, and after-wards a Pipe Sergeant. At the time he enlisted he was working as a joiner and carpenter in partnership with his brother in Christchurch.
Cecil enlisted on 3 October 1916. He was initially allocated to C Company, 25th Reinforcements on 6 December 1916 and promoted to Sergeant on 19 January 1917. However on 21 April he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and allocated to 29th Reinforcements and then finally he was transferred to 30th Reinforcements, F Company. He embarked on board the Corinthic on 13 October and arrived in Liverpool on 8 December 1917. He attended a course at S. P. Revolver School, Bulford from 4 to 7 March 1918. Bulford was the railhead for the camp at Sling which had begun as an annex to the existing Burford camp which dated from 1897. Cecil qualified as an instructor and was then taken on the strength of 4th Battalion of Otago Regiment as 2nd Lieutenant on 18 December 1917. He marched out to France on 20 March 1918. On 9 May he was transferred from the Otago Regiment to the Rifle Brigade. He joined 2nd Battalion, 3rd Rifle Brigade and was posted to D Company on 15 May. He was detached to Infantry School on 19 August. He was killed in action on 26 August 1918, aged 39 in the fighting around Bapaume. He was initially buried on the Bapaume Road but after the war he was gathered in and now lies in Vaulx Hill Cemetery. In New Zealand Cecil is remembered on the Malvern County War Memorial.
Researched and written by L M Seaton.
CWGC Cemetery locale history: Vaulx-Vraucourt village was taken in the spring of 1917, lost (after severe fighting) in March 1918, and retaken in the following September. Vaulx Hill Cemetery started with just 17 graves of September 1918 (in Plot I, Rows A and B). The rest of the cemetery was formed after the Armistice when graves were brought in from other cemeteries and from the battlefields in the immediate neighbourhood. The cemetery now contains 856 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 258 of the burials are unidentified but special memorials commemorate 29 casualties known or believed to be buried among them, and four others buried in other cemeteries whose graves were destroyed by shell fire.