Who Are We?

The La Boisselle Study Group comprises:

  • Jeremy Banning is a former civil engineer and commercial diver. He worked for five years in investment banking in the City of London and completed his Masters in Modern History in 2000. He now works as a military historian, researcher and battlefield guide lecturing on the Great War.
  • Peter Barton is an established First World War historian, writer, filmmaker and consultant well-known for devising and leading archaeological excavations on the Western Front, especially those connected to tunnel warfare. His first venture underground was on the Somme in 1984.
  • Mike Fox BSC is an eminent cinematographer with a long and distinctive pedigree in features, documentaries, dramas, commercials and corporates. Beginning his career as film researcher on ‘The World at War’, he has since photographed, produced and directed many hundreds of films. Dating back almost 20 years, his experience of filming Great War tunnel systems is unrivalled.
  • Simon Jones was formerly Exhibitions Officer at the Royal Engineers Museum and Curator of the King’s Regiment Museum. He is a Research Associate at the Centre for First World War Studies at the University of Birmingham and battlefield guide who has been researching underground warfare at La Boisselle since 2005.
  • Iain McHenry is a former investigator attached to the British Army Special Investigations Branch, Royal Military Police. He now works as a Great War Battlefield historian and guide. He is based in Ypres, Belgium.
  • Richard Porter is an ex-Royal Marine with operational experience around the world. Living on the Somme for the past few years has enabled Richard to fulfil his lifelong passion for military history. He is a battlefield guide and proprietor of specialist battlefield accommodation on the Somme.
  • Jonathan Porter served twenty years in the Royal Marines and SBS. With his brother Richard he runs a business offering accommodation and battlefield tours on the Somme battlefields. Jonathan is a battlefield guide and also acts as the project’s dedicated medic.


Peter Barton with Jeremy Banning, The Somme – the unseen panoramas, Constable & Robinson, London, 2011

Peter Barton with Jeremy Banning, Arras – The Spring 1917 Offensive in Panormas including Vimy Ridge and Bullecourt, Constable & Robinson, London, 2010

Peter Barton with Jeremy Banning, The Battlefields of the First World War, Constable & Robinson, London, 2005; revised edition 2008)

Peter Barton with Jeremy Banning, Passchendaele – Unseen Panoramas of the Third Battle of Ypres, Constable & Robinson, London, 2007

Peter Barton, Peter Doyle & Johan Vandewalle, Beneath Flanders Fields: The Tunnellers’ War 1914-18, Spellmount, 2004 Simon Jones, Underground Warfare 1914-1918, Pen & Sword, Barnsley, 2010

Selected Archaeological Projects

Mametz, Somme – May 2010: ‘Breathing Fire’ – the search for remains of a Livens Large Gallery Flame Projector. This was broadcast as a “Time Team Special” in April 2011.

A temporary exhibition entitled ‘Breathing Fire: Le dragon de la Somme’ curated by Peter Barton will run at the Historial de la Grande Guerre in Péronne from June – December 2011.

Zonnebeke, Belgium – March 2008: Vampir Dugout – the investigation of a 90 year old British dugout in the Ypres salient. This was broadcast as a “Time Team Special” in November 2008.

Peter Barton was Project Historian on the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) graves project