Bois-Guillaume in France was originally a Gallo-Roman settlement of which few traces remain. In 1040, William the Conqueror's mother built a country house on the hill; the area thus came to be known variously as Boscum Guillelmi or Bosco Willelmi, later becoming Bois-Guillaume. The town is now part of the district of Rouen in the Seine-Maritime department of Normandy.
During WW1 the city of Rouen was sufficiently far from the front lines to become a major logistics centre with numerous base hospitals. One of these, No.8 General Hospital, was established in a large private house and grounds at Bois-Guillaume and was in existence from 16 August 1914 until May 1919. It was here that 2Lt Alfred Sang, Intelligence Corps, was taken after being wounded by shrapnel on 9 September 1914. He died in the hospital on 2 October 1914, the Intelligence Corps’ first fatality of WW1. Such are the fortunes of war that one of the Intelligence Corps’ last fatalities of the war died in the same hospital. Sgt FC Lynham, Army Service Corps, attached to the Intelligence Corps, died there on 24 April 1918. Both men rest in peace in the CWGC Communal Cemetery of Bois Guillaume.
August 2014 was the centenary of the start of WW1 and of the formation of the fledgling Intelligence Corps. On 12 August 14, Exercise GREEN CENTURY saw a ceremonial party of 55 members of the Intelligence Corps, Regulars, Reserves and Veterans, assemble at Bois Guillaume cemetery to conduct a parade and remembrance service, in the presence of the Colonel Commandant, Major General J R Hockenhull OBE, the Mayor of Bois-Guillaume, M.Gilbert Renard and local dignitaries. Fittingly, wreaths were laid at the graves of the Corps’ first and last fatalities of the ‘Great War’.
As result of the close links forged in 2014, the Mayor of Bois Guillaume was invited to Corps Day and in 2018, the town invited the Corps to France to join their commemorative events for the centenary of the Armistice. Exercise GREEN CENTURY II took place on 10 August 2018 and a service, led by the Corps Padre, Rev Clive Larrett, was held again in the CWGC Cemetery and wreaths were laid to fallen comrades. On behalf of Lt Gen Hockenhull, the Deputy Colonel Commandant presented the Mayor and community of Bois-Guillaume with a silver Intelligence Corps rose, in recognition of the friendship between the town and the Corps.