1 July 0730 – La Boisselle

I took these photos from the road to Becourt that runs right through No Man’s Land on the Front Line of 1 July at La Boisselle. The first shot looks back to the village, the first few houses held by the British (although only ruins of course). The second photo looks ahead to the Lochnagar crater which was the German strongpoint and their Front Line. The distance is about 400 yards and it took me almost ten minutes to walk the distance at about the military pace. This was, of course, over flat ploughed fields and absolutely no danger. It was here on 1 July that the Tynesiders and the Grimsby Chums launched a dash for the crater. It is over this very ground that the heaviest rate of casualties were suffered on a day that was full of such appalling losses. Approximately 4,000 may still lie here below the surface. Certainly almost 4,000 Germans are here in the ground that you can see.

Nomansland looking back to La Boiselle start lines

Looking back at the start lines, approximately where the green margin is visible.


Looking uphill towards the Lochnagar crater. The crater is protected and privately owned as a memorial. Therefore, it does stick out from the surrounding fields. It was a double mine, totalling almost 60,000 lbs of explosive. Enough to create a crater nearly 70 feet deep, 220 feet across and to launch debris 4000ft vertically and in fact drop earth and debris on the British start lines.

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