Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Friday, June 13, 2014

Western Front Virtual Tour — Stop 22: Lochnagar Mine Crater

The largest mine crater on the Western Front, this was one of several mines exploded under the German frontline positions on the Somme on 1 July 1916. A charge of 60,000 lbs (26.8 tons) of ammonal explosive was blown at 7:28 a.m., resulting in a crater 90 feet deep and 300 feet across. Englishman Richard Dunning now owns Lochnagar Crater, named after the trench from where the main tunnel was started. He saved it from being filled in 1978, and now each year on the 1st of July a ceremony is held here to remember men of all sides who fell on the Somme in 1916. Nearby is the site of the Glory Hole, which we will also visit. Units of the 34th Division attacked this area and the nearby village of La Boisselle on 1 July. This formation contained two whole brigades of "pals" battalions — the Tyneside Irish and the Tyneside Scottish. They suffered many casualties that day — five battalions losing over 500 men each. Indeed, the whole division lost 6,380 that day.

1 comment:

  1. My wife and I visited the site in 2008. A monument to the waste that was the Great War.