Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Lochnager Crater


Amor
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I am currently reading the book Somme by Lyn Macdonald. Having read numerous books already on the Somme (and having visited the Lochnager Crater several times) I was rather surprised to read the accounts from soldiers in the 13th Battalion Rifle Brigade vividly explaining how bodies were thrown into the crater in the days after 1st July 1916. Some accounts refer to more than one thousand bodies.

Does anybody have information as to what happened to these bodies? Are they still in the crater or were they exhumed?

Rgds,

Alex

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a 1917 photo (French official via IWM) showing the burial mound. Today the mound is dug out presumably during grave clearance.

large.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What an image , amazed that bones lay around like that. :poppy:

tony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What an image , amazed that bones lay around like that. :poppy:

tony

I think bones were a major feature around and abouts in 1917 - and immediately after the war for that matter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the photo Simon.

I was at Lochnagar this summer. Looked much greener then, but definitely a place which brings home what the soldiers on both sides must have experienced.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

My gran had been told that her father Sydney Albert Dymonds of the 13th Rifle brigade did burie men in the crater that was made many British soldiers were buried around the top of the crater as well R.i.p great Grandfather13thRifle Brigade Riflemen Sydney Albert Dymonds S/4543

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Though no physicist it seems to me unlikely that the Germans over the site of the mine would have been anything other than vapourised by the enormous energy of that explosion. Considering that it was a bigger mine than the Hawthorne Redoubt mine, and the striking effect of that blast in Mallins's film, I can't see that - not to be distasteful but we are discussing war after all - pieces of the German garrison would have found in or around the crater. Other remains, certainly, over time; but surely not from the mine.

I think it is Duffy's book which states there were forty Germans in a large dugout over the mine and reported German casualties in that whole sector totalled around 200 for 1 July - a number of which would of course be due to artillery and small arms as well as the mine.

- brummell

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it was a burial ground, it gives a whole new dimension to the place, doesn't it??

I guess searching for remains is now a no-go, especially with the risk of explosive ordnance in the crater, but theoretically, it's certainly possible that there are still remains in the crater walls... German and British.

M.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In case anyone is interested, may I remind people that the crater has a website: HERE

The owner of the crater is determined that no profit should ever be made from the crater, and that it should be a memorial to all those who suffered in the Great War, and that access to it should be free to the public. But it is amazing how expensive it is to maintain a large hole in ground! People can support the upkeep by becoming a Friend of Lochnagar, or by sponsoring a plank of the new walkway by paying £25 for a small plaque with the name of someone (of any nation) who was involved in the Great War (details HERE) - both of my grandfathers have plaques.

[N.B. I became a Friend of Lochnagar three years ago, having been very moved by my visit to the crater and realising that it was a worthwhile cause to which I could give financial support; but I am posting this purely as an individual - not as any kind of spokesman for the Friends.]

William

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...