Access & Open Days

It is the intention to make the site open to the public whenever work is in progress. During the research phase visits will be possible on Open Days which will be advertised on this website – see below. The La Boisselle Study Group cannot arrange access to the site outside of working periods. We are also on Twitter. For instant updates on the next Open Day please consider following us by clicking on the banner.Please find below a map to help you find the Glory Hole.

Details of forthcoming Open Days and work on site

January 2014: Pending decisions about the future of the Glory Hole site to be taken by the newly-formed Association des Amis de l’Ilot de La Boisselle, the site has been backfilled to protect the archaeology. Site visits are no longer permitted. N.B. Please be advised that the Glory Hole site is PRIVATE PROPERTY and, as such, trespassers are not welcome. 

105 Responses to Access & Open Days

  1. could you tell me if you have any dates for 2014 yet .we have a group of about 15 motorcyclists visiting the somme in april. thank you .

  2. Hi Peter and folks, I am far away from criticizing this project at all. The effort per se is excellent. My overarching point though is- a project of this magnitude, researching a European tragedy, cannot be just focused on the British side starting at the time when the project was presented with pompom (free champagne) in October 2011 to the public. A lot of excellent photos have been shown from the archaeological work over time in various fori for which I am grateful. I for my part saw only British (with hommage to the French hosts also in French language) commemorations to include British individuals kia commemorated on posts and further location explanation. I expect from upfront in our today’s Europe that both sides of the most horrible war are commemorated on an equal basis, to include the German side. If there was a German guide/individual as a member of the Study Group available to explain the tunneling story around the Glory Hole in German, why did this guy not translate a couple of commemorations from German soldiers still resting there who were killed in action as well there to pay respect to them on an equal basis? I don’t want to have the impression that the British fought, dealt and were busy with themselves there and who the hell was the enemy-was there somebody else? The German soldiers suffered the same misery like the Brits and gave their ultimate sacrifice thinking at the time to fight for their right cause. It is more than appropriate to equally commemorate them from the beginning of such a project and not “sometime later”, or never at all…..
    Keep up the important work, I wish you all the best for the mammoth project

    • Egbert – thank you for your comments about the project. We have not deliberately ignored the Germans who were lost at the Glory Hole. We have been researching German archival and published sources from the beginning of the project and have a great deal of information about the German activity at La Boisselle. However we have yet to find evidence of any German soldiers whose remains were not recovered from their tunnel systems. If we find such evidence we will of course commemorate them in exactly the same way that we have commemorated French and British soldiers. Should you have other queries then please contact us directly.

      • Thank you for replying.
        I have just read about your BBC radio/TV project in december 2013 where you bring down a British next of kin of a killed tunneler to remember.
        Did you find so far evidence of killed German tunnelers who were equally trapped and killed down there? If yes, I am sure that you are in contact with German documentary TV/radio stations like Phoenix, ZDFinfo or French-German Arte, to work together with all these European stations, i.e to bring a German next of kin down in the tunnel galleries and where they, German and British relatives would meet each other to remember both sides equally.

  3. Just wanted to say thank you so much to the guys who took time out to speak to us last Friday when we came on our Somme trip from Uni in Blackpool. It was fascinating and one heck of a place. Although the archaeological jokes could use a little work ;-). Thanks very much and I’m off to see how quick I can gather funds to get back and help out. It’s incredible!

  4. just wanted to say thank you to Simon and the Team for taking the time to show me around the site. I’m still taking in the fact that I was walking the same ground as my grandad did almost 100 years ago. Also many thanks for showing the Staff College students around – fitting in so much into the short time that they had.

  5. Hi we will be visiting in August and would love to visit are you open any days ?
    Anne

  6. Just wanted to say a very big thank you to you all for giving up your time to dine with us and show us around the site last weekend (28/29 June). It really was most interesting and informative and we feel very priviledged to have had VIP access to such an important site. Good luck with the rest of your research.
    Debbie + Lawrie (Four Wheel Drive Club)

  7. We will be visiting Thiepval at the end of July will there be any visits then ??

  8. Looking forward to meeting up with the Team on Sunday. She Who Must Be Obeyed and I will visit a local patisserie in advance.

    Cheers,
    Simon

  9. I will be in the Beaumont Hamel area over the 3-4 Jul. My grandfather served in the 179th Tunnelling Company. What times would be available for a visit?

  10. My grandfather, a Royal Fusilier, survived the Battle of La Boiselle but many of his friends didn’t. Although he forgot much of his life towards the end, his memories of the battlefield were his strongest and never left him. I would be most interested to know more about his experiences there. He never mentioned the tunnelling – perhaps the common soldier was unaware of it.

    My son belongs to Sub-Britannica and I first learned of the La Boiselle project in that association’s magazine. Now I have bookmarked this site I will try to keep updated.

  11. We are visiting the area during the first week in July and would be interested in visiting the site, how do I arrange this? I assume a donation can be made on the day? I look forward to hearing from you.

  12. I am visiting The Somme 23 / 26 May,will the site be open for a tour?
    Regards & Best Wishes

  13. Hi all
    Always good to check in to see how things are progressing. Any idea of when you will be about in 2013 please?

  14. bonjour
    très jolie site internet
    j’ai eu l occasion de visiter plusieurs fois la boisselle
    j aimerai bien participer bénévolement a une de vos fouilles

  15. Bonjour,

    je souhaiterai connaître les prochaines dates d’ouverture au public. Je trouve fascinant et émouvant ce qui est train de se passer près de 100 ans après la guerre. Je connais bien le cratère de Lochnaggar pour y être aller souvent. C’est habituellement poignant, mais là cela prend encore une dimension supplémentaire.

  16. Our many thanks for the time given, particularly by Simon and Peter, and to all the team who were extremely friendly and helpful. Found it very moving to think that the tunnels have been left for over 90 years and how fortunate we were to be one of the first to see them. Found it quite surreal to arrive home from our holiday and find La Boiselle being featured on the BBC National News.

    My grandfather was a tunneler for the duration of the war and it brought home the realities (and horror) of what and how they worked. (No wonder he always refused to talk about it – no war stories from my grandfather!!)

    I think this is an amazing project and will only survive if we all support it. Hopefully all those who visit will continue to support its progress.

    Liz & Ken Johns

  17. I visited with a party of serving and retired emergency services personnel on the 7th October and found the project immensely fascinating. Despite the poor weather and the fact that preparations were being made to close the site for a period we were made to feel very welcome. The enthusiasm of the experts on site was infectious and they have our utmost admiration for the work and the discoveries they are making. Many thanks to Peter Barton and Simon Jones who fielded our questions with patience and courtesy. This project is funded mainly on the generosity of private donors and as it is of great historical importance to our knowledge of WW1 I would urge everyone to contribute to this marvellous undertaking.

  18. Visited the site on Sat 6th Oct 2012. What an incredible experience and despite being busy closing the site up, everyone made us feel really welcome. A special thanks to Peter and Simon for taking the time to give us there input. It was a privilege and and honour to be there. Hope to see you again soon.

  19. I have recently led a party of award winning colleagues on a memorable trip to the Somme including La-Boiselle, The Glory Hole,& Lochnaghar Crater. They were immensely moved by the experience & by the scale of the Tunelling Project.
    Best wishes with respect &admiration
    BCA 5 Crowns Award Winners 2012.

  20. Just got back from a Ledger Holidays weekend tour of the Tunnelers at War with Mark Banning, which included a visit to your site and the opportunity to go underground. Like to thank all of you for the great work you are doing and for the personal tour of the site Peter gave us, for the time he spent answering questions and being patient with us. I would also like to give a special thanks to Jonathan Porter (to one Northender from another) for the time he spent with me answering questions, explaining things and giving me a personal explanation about the larger crater just up the road and why the diggers stopped short of tunnelling under the German lines but still effectively put them out of operating. Great day and many thanks.

  21. Hi guys – big thanks from us all at Wenches in Trenches for the tour last week and the good visit we all enjoyed. It is a privilege and and honour to help to bring La boisselle to life for future generations. Hope to see you boys again soon.

    Wenches in Trenches
    aka
    South West Forces Trust

  22. I just wanted to thank the team at the Glory Hole for the work they are doing and for making it possible for members of the public to feel involved in this project by giving their valuable time to showing us amateurs around. My family and I visited the site on the Saturday ‘open day’ this weekend and we were fascinated by the talk that Jeremy Banning gave. Having gazed over the fence many times over the years, I couldn’t believe the size of the area or the depth of the craters it contains.
    This has got to be a ‘must see’ for any WW1 enthusiast. I hope to be lucky enough to get underground next time.
    Keep up the good work!

  23. I will be visiting the Somme from 27 – 30 October and would love to visit the Glory Hole. Will the site be open between those dates?

  24. I am visiting the Somme on 26-27th October. I have not been for about 5 years and bringing along some visitors for the first time. Just seeing if anything will be open/able to look at at this time. Thanks and keep up the great work.

  25. could you inform me of dates this year in 2012 , if any when it might be possible to visit. thank you.

    • Dear Mr Dowd,
      Thank you for your comment on the website. There will be open days on 15/16 September. Hours are 10am – 5pm. We are also working on site from 26 Sept – 5 October and, work permitting, access should be permitted over that period.
      We hope to see you then.

  26. Visited the project on Saturday 23rd June and i just wanted to say a big thank you for the guided tour and the visit into the tunnel. The site is amazing and gives you a great understanding of what i guys went through. I hope you get the lower tunnels open in time for the BBC
    Thanks again
    Pete

  27. I am a major with the City & County of Bristol Army Cadet Force, I run a Battlefields Tour of The Somme. We spoke to you in April this year at the site. I will be bring 47 cadets over next year 16th – 21st April 2013. If possible we like to visit your site on Saturday 20th April morning or afternoon?
    Thank you.

  28. Thanks to all at the Glory Hole!
    On a recent visit on 10th May 12, I was privileged to have been afforded the opportunity to walk the site and gain access to the tunnel entrance shaft. It was an informative and moving experience to witness the unearthing of hidden history. I wish all at the project well and thank them for their personal contributions towards this momentous task. I hope that the exposure and support required will be forthcoming to enable a suitable and lasting memorial to the sacrifice made by all tunnellers and soldiers from this poignant time in our history.

  29. Passed the site last Wednesday and Thursday (9 & 10 May) but did not know I could visit the site. Saw a lot of small yellow flags depicting a possible trenchline and would have loved to see the ongoing excavation myself. Perhaps another time?

  30. Thank you for a great visit last week.I can’t wait to find out whats at the bottom of the shaft???? Don’t forget we discussed the easy method of keeping a tunnel on line,once in about 20 or so feet then hang a candle with a very small flame at the entrance in the centre of the tunnel then half way in hang a line of shot fireing wire or thin string again in the centre of the tunnel now go to the head end and hold up a line then sight this line in with flame and middle centre (someone may have to shine a torch on the middle one to get a good sight)sight with one eye like sighting a rifle ,sight several dots on the roof and join up by flicking a string through them rubbed in coloured chalk.Some of the dots could be hand drilled and nails plugged in.The surveyors would have to do a periodic check but with skilled miners they would have an eye for the work.

  31. Hi my great grandfather was serving in the Norfolk Regiment during the Battle of The Somme, from the information I have gathered after the miners had finished digging and explosives left under the German Lines, after the great explosion my Grandfathers Section were sent forward after explosion to check on the damage to the enemy, unfortunately the Germans were on the scene first, and my Grear Grandfathers section were never found, the Germans flame throwered them as they approached from downhill up. I and family members visited the site some 5 years ago, but I am visiting again with old Army mates from 30 Jun for a week visiting various sites, but we will be paying our respects at the site during the week, my Great Grandfather Arthur Sillence is on the thiephall Memorial which we will visit to pay respects as well.

  32. Please read “War Underground” or “Tunnellers”. Two great books that brings their stories back to life.
    Up to now the war that ranged underground in the 1st WW has not had the cover that it deserves. Now at last these brave fellows are being given the recognition that they deserve but never asked for. Once again, thank you all concerned with this marvellous project. Hope to be in the area Sunday 29th May for one week.

  33. Visited the Glory Hole with my family whilst staying at Chavasse Farm. A great tour with Richard and Jonathan. This project is so interesting and well worth a visit and a donation to keep it moving in the right direction. Thank you and we look forward to a re visit in late September.

  34. I am reading War Underground by Alexander Barrie, being an ex miner I get on edge just reading about the fantastic things these men did.I am full of admiration. We will surely never see their like again.Thank you for helping to bring their story to so many people.

  35. Hi All. I hope to be bringing a party of 20-24 people over on a battlefield tour 21-24th June. I met Iain recently and found what he and the group are doing to be fascinating, As Sue Robinson says this should be supported by the British Public i hope every thing works out for you and hope to see you in June.

    Keith
    http://www.theliverpoolpalsmemorialfund.com

  36. Visited the battlefield two years ago when I found out my grandfather and great uncle served there. What a brilliant project and hope to return this summer.

  37. Back in October I was working for my charity in the Somme when I met Iain by chance he invited myself and two colleagues to see the wonderful tunnel which we did the following day. I was blown away by what I saw. This is a fabulous project and must be supported by us the British public so that it isnt lost.
    Thanks guys, you are inspirational.

  38. Hi guys.
    Will be visiting the Somme with our WFA Branch either Thursday 12th or Friday 13th April 2012, and we’d love to see what is going on. Would it be possible to have a look around on either of those days? There’ll be about 30 of us, but we could do it in shifts (with the rest in Old Blighty) if that would help.

  39. Hi,
    Discovered this site by accident.Which for me is most fortunate.I have finally got a group of friends to come and
    vist the Western Front.The Lochnagar Crater was on our itinerary.I was not aware of the work your group was doing there.I do not want to drop the La Boiselle site off our itinerary.Does the public still have access to the actual crater despite the work going on at the glory hole.We intend visiting La Boiselle early in may 2012.Would it be possible to gain access to the Glory Hole site at that time.

  40. I love to read about this interesting project as I am researching the war graves and the areas involved in WW1. My grandfather (Manchester Regiment) served at Mons, Ypres and the Somme and although he was shot in the shoulder and thigh, fortunately returned home eventually. You may think he was one of the lucky ones, but he suffered pyschologically and had flashbacks for many years afterwards.

    Look forward to many more updates.

  41. I am the grand daughter of William Arthur Lloyd. We never knew where in France he died only that he was tunnelling at the time. Due to the research of Simon Jones we not only know where in France he died (La Boiselle) but the exact location of his body. Unbelievable!! I only wish this had happened while my mother was alive. The sad thing was he left a wife and 6 children.
    I would like to thank the Archaeological Team for all their efforts in making this happen and also the landowners for allowing this dig.
    I’m completely overwhelmed.

    • hello thelma, very intresting to see all this progress, im joy davies’s grandson and have only recently been told about william arthur lloyd, i have had the pleasure of reading handwritten letters from william arthur during his time in france, im also planning a trip over in the new year to visit the site with family members

  42. i have only recently found out my great, great grandfather was killed here, my grandmother still has origanal letters that were sent by my great, great grandfather while he was serving over in france, very intresting and will soon be arranging to visit the tunnels

  43. Just been reading about your project, so took a look at the website. I was amazed at what was on it, I have always had an interest in Tunnels, and whilst the New Garrison was being built in |Colchester Wimpy’s uncovered some Tunnel workings that we were allowed to look at, It was 80 Field Company R.E. who were at the time working and training in these tunnels. Whilst working on the 25 April 1915 an accident happened which resulted in the loss of two Sappers. Also a total of 12 Sappers received awards from the Royal Humane Society for the work they did in trying to recover their friends. Also a lot of local men served on the western front in 180 Field Company RE, they are buried in Colchester Cemetery along with some in Abberton Churchyard.

  44. I applaud this projectand will be watching keenly to see what develops. My grandfather Thomas Henry Harrison died on the Somme, whereabouts unknown. Hopefully this project will provide some leads to where he may have died but even if it doesn’t the project looks very worthwhile for our understanding of the conditions the soldiers lived under.

  45. Hi to all those involved in this exciting project. My partner Sue and I were lucky enough to have Ian McH show us around the site in august this year – fascinating stuff! When I heard about the open day I was really excited at the thought of going but couldn’t due to prior arrangements. It looked like a stunning day! Really fed up I couldn’t go. Have seen the coverage on today’s BBC news of the current state ofaffairs. I will definitely be at the next open day(s). Do you have any idea when this may be?
    Very best wishes to you all. Very exciting!
    David Ellis

  46. I am watching the progress made at the site with great interest. My great grandfather was killed in the tunnels in December 1915 after only a few weeks of arriving there. It was a poignant moment to see his photograph displayed at the place he lies on Breakfast TV today. I hope along with my mother, sister and other family members to be able to visit at a future date.

    • Christine,
      I’m reading your post with great interest as I watched a similar report on BBC Wales and the picture shown here was of my great grandfather William Arthur Lloyd. Can I assume we are related? I know the picture came from Lesley Woodbridge (also on this forum) who is another great grand child. I would be great to hear from you as we (my close family) had no idea of Williams place of death or the circumstances. Please leave a reply.

  47. Thank you so much for arranging the visit by the Bury Grammar School battlefields tour party to the Glory Hole on Sunday 23rd October. Iain and Richard were fantastic guides and the boys (and staff) were privileged to visit this fascinating archaeological site. We shall monitor the progress of the project with great interest and hope to pay a further visit on a future tour.

  48. To all the team working on the Project, we would like to give our sincere thanks for allowing 4 members of the Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Victoria Cross Committee to visit to site, and for giving us an in depth explanation of the project, also for taking us around the site.
    We all found it really interesting and we will be following the project with a keen interest, at the same time we look forward to coming open days. In conclusion we would like to thank you for all of your efforts in this most worthwhile of projects.
    Tony, & Mavis Higton, Chris & Trish Stewart

  49. My wife and I were privileged to be there for the Open Day on the 9th. I would like to say thank you to all the team for giving us so much of their valuable time while we were there. A fantastic project that will leave something incredible for future generations to learn from. I will certainly be following the project avidly over the coming years and will be attending as many open days as possible.
    Once again thanks to you all.
    Trevor and Stephanie Cobby, Cranleigh, England.

  50. Visiting with a small party, touring the battlefields, we stayed just outside Albert. Hearing the Glory Hole was open for visitors on the Sunday, we delayed our departure and had a look. The Guide was extremely informative, the trenches of the British and German were marked with flags and easy to see. Amazing they were so close in some parts and we were allowed in small numbers to go into one of the tunnels. There are some memorial notices of the men who died there and the stories were touching. Local French people were taking the opportunity to look too, I am sure no-one could have imagined so much history was so close but hidden from view. Thank you to the landowners who have allowed this and the team who are excavating – a memorable experience.

  51. Thanks for a great day on Sunday and a truly memorable experience – Very best wishes to all the team.

  52. What an extraordinary experience.
    What a great project.
    What a great group of people.
    Thanks for a wonderful day.
    Regards
    Yvonne and Johan

  53. Myself and three friends are out in Ypres this weekend 7 – 10th Oct and having seen the open day for this Sunday 9th Oct we hopefully will be travelling down to La Boisselle to visit the site and see the excellent work that is being carried out there.
    Dave

  54. I am hoping that we can arrange for our group when we make our annual visit in May 2012.
    This is a highly significant project.
    Best wishes
    Allan and Marilyn Hartley
    WFA North Lancashire Branch

  55. Hi,

    I would like to publically thank Iain McHenry who was kind enough to give the KOYLI coach party a short impromptu talk on Saturday, 13th August 2011 at La Boisselle. I personally found Iain’s talk very interesting, and I guess did many other members of our coach party also did so as well.

    On behalf of our coach party, thanks once again.

  56. A group of us have been riding out from the UK and visiting the great war locations on an annual basis. We are coming down to the Somme next weekend 12/ 13 /14 th of August and will be visiting the Lochnagar crater amongst other battlegrounds. We would love to stop by to see how you guys are progressing with the Glory Hole as its always been out of bounds and fenced off. Could we hook up with you guys and have a tour please?
    Thanks

    • We came, we saw and we went. Thanks to Jeremy and the guys for showing us some of the artifacts your team unearthed. Big thanks to Gary Andrews for taking the time to tell us about the dig and to show us W adit and explaining the various entrances. I hope you will gain access to the German side of the dig one day. (Come on Gary, get an adventure bike :) )
      Dave/

  57. very interested in what you are doing,been to albert in france and to most of the cemeteries looking for my husbands great uncles.found one still looking for other.been to the glory hole and lochangar crater a few times.took our daughter the first time to show her what happens in war and what we owe to so many people who never made it home.took our two granchildren while in france in 2008 so they also no there history,hope to visit again in 2012.will keep looking at your site to keep myself informed of what your doing,thank you for what you are doing.

  58. Very interested in this project, been over to France and Belgium many times as my great grandfather is buried in st.vaast military cemetery and his brother has a memorial at ploegsteert. I like to visit as many cemeteries as possible and hope to be going this year. So would love a visit to this project, also would like to get involved but I realize this is difficult.
    Regards Colin

  59. My grandfather, John Lewis, was a Lewis Gunner in 9RWF as part of 19th Western Division who attacked over this ground. They captured the village after severe fighting. Their memorial stands near the village church. I look forward to yet another revisit. Well done!

  60. I first saw the Glory Hole, the Lochnagar crater & the Y Sap crater at La Boisselle in 1970 and have been going back there ever since, most recently this 1st July. This is a fascinating development – keep up the good work!

  61. Since 1994 my brother (see above: gerard hellendoorn) and I visited almost every year the battlefields of The Great War: Ieper, Verdun and The Somme Battlefields, with great interest. The last couple of years, his two sons go with us. In May last year we met Mr.Barton in a hotel in Peronne, he invited us to visit the first excavation on The Somme, near Mansell Copse. Despite heavy rain and very muddy grounds, our visit was very exciting. This year I had already planned a holiday in The Somme Area with my wife.
    I will surely visit The Glory Hole. Reading about The Great War is my big hobby. I collected already about 150 books of The Great War, including Mr. Barton’s.

  62. I am delighted at the level of interest shown in the project, reading the responses so far. I will be taking a group around the Western Front for two weeks in August and will be on the Somme between the eighth and twelfth of August. I would very much like to include a visit to the site as I have passed it so many times and tried to visualise what happened here, without ever being able to access the site. Please post times that access will be allowed during August so that I can amend the itinery accordingly.Much congratulations must pass to Jeremy Banning and Peter Barton for their continued dedication to all aspects of the Great War.

  63. I await developments with eager anticipation. Myself and family have visited the battlefields for many years now,this area being one of many. I am currently writing and researching my Grandfathers diaries of his years at the front,he was on the Somme,as well as Ypres and Cambrai for the final’Hundred Days’. I am particularly fascinated by the tunnelling side of the war,again hoping to produce a novel linked to the subject, so excitedly looking forward to updates and future visits!

  64. Brilliant stuff – really look forward to the open days.

  65. Great its been more than 30000 days since this war ended, we must preserve what ever possible and keep the memory alive!
    so good luck and i will visit this site in the future thats for sure!

  66. I was bowled over to hear about this project. I have prowled the boundary of the Glory Hole several times in the past, peering in, and trying to explain to a bemused family why this small area of scrub is so important. As a 1/Dorset specialist, this area is inextricably linked to the battalion, so am pleased to read Charles Douie’s work quoted. I wish you every success and hope to visit on an Open day in the future.

  67. A very worthwhile and important project. Several of my relatives including my Grandfather fought on the Somme and three of them were killed there. As a retired archaelogist myself I look forward to following the project with interest.

  68. Today we remember the Somme and all the others that perished in WW1 so the poem perhaps is fitting for this day:

    At the going down of the sun…
    “They shall grow not old, as we who are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.”
    Look forward to visiting La Boisselle

  69. Indeed a very remarkable and valuable project. Even after such a long time it’s of great importance, perhaps even greater importance than before, that sites likes this are revealed and in this way again can underline or bring alvie the efforts, the work, the sacrifce of so many soldiers who were at the WW-1 front. The remembrance of all of those soldiers can be strengthened this way too. All the best with the project. Frank – Flanders – RCL.

  70. Good to see this project on the go. Hopefully raising more awareness of the work and sacrifice of the soldiers of the RE Tunnelling Companies.
    http://www.1914-1918.net/tunnelcoyre.htm
    http://freespace.virgin.net/simon.jones87/179th%20Tunnelling%20Company%20Other%20Ranks%20Roll.htm

    95 years ago today, the Somme offensive kicked off with 179 Tunnelling Company blowing the mines at Lochnagar and Y Sap.
    http://www.lochnagarcrater.org/July011916.html

  71. Hi fantastic project will follow progress with great interest.

  72. A great project which is honoring the memory of British fighters of WW1. Thanks for doing this.

  73. I will be watching this site with interest. To me the whole area is of great importance and i just hope that the whole study is carried out with the greatest of respect given to all the fallen of both sides.
    I always understood that the family who owned the land had left it as it was as a mark of respect. In these times of hardship i just hope that this does not turn into a commercial mess which would take the respect away from what it is.

  74. Having visited for several years the battlefield cemeteries and memorials of the Somme
    having lost a Grandfather there (it is an emotive place still for generations that have followed). I will be following your progress via your website with great interest.
    Good luck to all on this project.

  75. Absolutely fantastic and I sincerely hope the endeavour succeeds. I have been interested in the First World War for such a long time and any project that furthers knowledge and understanding of what the ‘Tommy’ had to endure is more then welcome……

  76. Good luck with your project, i look forward to your reports with great interest, Reg, Graham ex serviceman 2nd ww.

  77. As a battlefield guide of some 10 years experience I have passed the Glory Hole many many times and often stopped to wonder at the secrets that lay beneath the mass of gorse and brush there. Imagination is a wonderful thing and I would always feel amazement at those who suffered and endured there. So I wish you all well in your endeavours to tell the story at first hand and would like to thank the kindness of the family that own it in letting us rediscover our past. A worthy tribute to the blood and sacrifice of those inimitable young men of so long ago. For Jeremy Banning and Peter Barton I wish you both well in the project-we need to recognize your dedication and contributions to WW1 history over the years, with your superb programmes on TV and of course your beautifully researched and presented books.

  78. My wife and I will be visiting the Albert area from Australia in mid-August and would love to be able to view the progress being made there. My wife’s great-grandfather fought in the Somme area in 1916. I will be keeping an eye on this site to see when open days are occurring. This is a very significant project.

  79. My Great Grandfarther Sgt Thomas Rippon Of the Northumberland Fusiliers (3rd Tynside Scotish) Born in Brandon County Durham, was last seen in this area.
    “A good man “

    • Hello My name is Arthur Truby and my grandfather also was in the 3rd Tynside Scottish Northumberland Fusiliers, his name is Arthur Keepin. He was the brother-in-law of your great grandfather Thomas Rippon. They both joined up together as they were from the same colliery. I visited the family graves co-incedently yesterday with my sister and we laid flowers. On the graves both Arthur and Thomas names are mentioned. I do have a picture of Arthur and Thomas on Thomas’s wedding day, do you have an memorabilia or pictures. If so i would be extremely grateful if you got in touch.
      Thank you and Kind Regards

      Arthur Truby

  80. BBC NEWS 10/6/2011 Photograph of 179 tunning company. I recognised my FATHER middle row extreme left .He was also trained mine rescue apparatus school 170 20/9/1916 . Service with colours 5/8/1914 – 27/1/1919 . Ducking and diving incredable.

  81. I am really pleased that this project has been started and will be following the progress

  82. I led a party of 48 people to the Somme and Ypres during May and we visited the Lochnagar Crater and had lunch in the nearby Old Blighty cafe. It is wonderful news that the La Boisselle Study Group are undertaking the task of researching and excavating the trenches in the Glory Hole.

    It was a wonderful experience for all of our party to see the Somme and Flanders and many of them made the first family visit to ancestors who died in ww1.

  83. I want to wish all concerned in this very important project Good Luck and please stay safe as La Boisselle and the Western Front as seen enough sadness.

  84. On research of my family history I have found that a relative of mine Charles Baldwin was a tunneler.
    He was in the Army before the first world war serving in Africa Left the army and became a miner in the Wye vallie near Newent. Glos. He was then called back up to be a tunneler, he was mentioned in dispatches twice and awarded a dcm.
    Ted Eves

  85. My next visit to the Somme will be on the weekend of 10/11 Sept 2011. Will any excavation have taken place by then?

  86. Hi
    Watching with great interest. I visited this site a few years ago after I learned that my great grandfather rests here.

    He was a miner, was sent to France in August 1915 and was killed in December 1915, blown up at La Boisselle.

    For all the years I was growing nobody knew where in France he was, and it is with regret that my granmother died without ever knowing about where he died, or where he lies or indeed any details of his time there.

    It took nearly 100 years for anyone to go and lay flowers over his grave, I was however able to take my 80+ year old mother.
    And so I hope what is done there is tasteful and respectful, I’m sure it will be, and I look forward to visiting again, and eventually seeing a memorial with his name on over or near where he has rested for nearly 100 years.

  87. A brilliant project. I am very interested in your work. My granfather fought in the Somme.
    All the best.

  88. I’m keen to see this project unfold over the coming months and would appreciate any diagrams which might be produced showing the site in ‘Cross-section’.
    This would be most revealing as the news story has already indicated that British & German tunnellers were both digging towards each other’s front lines.

  89. Fantastic project will be following your progress with interest.

  90. Fascinating!
    My grandfather was involved in scouting the German trenches in this area- moving across the lines by tunnel, snatching isolated Germans and bringing them back for interrogation.

  91. I would welcome any news regarding your project as my grandfather’s brother was a member of the Royal Scots and was killed on 15 July 1916 (which is also my birthday). Since he was a miner before he joined the army, he may well have been involved in digging the tunnels.

  92. Just checking the bbc news as I do on a daily basis; the La Boiselle Project has stopped me in my tracks. Naturally, I got upset learning about the miners and their plight particularly after seeing the photo of the tunnellers of 179 Tunneling Company who portray a strong and united team but also have a sense of humour.

    The website is brief but very informative and I will be regularly checking for updates.

    All the very best with the project

    Sian Mai
    Isle of Anglesey

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