In 1914, the British Expeditionary Force fought a rearguard action here during the Retreat from Mons. On 1 September, the British 4th (Guards) Brigade who were covering the withdrawal of 2nd Division, came into contact with the leading units of the German III Corps on the edge of woodland near Villers-Cotterêts. The brigade lost more than 300 men in the encounter, but were able to break away and continue the withdrawal.
The cemetery was created by the Irish Guards led by Colonel George Morris when the territory was regained two months later. It is the resting place of 78 identified casualties, plus another 20 whose identity is unknown
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