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18:30 - 20:30 23 October 2014

The Somme cauldron – Life and death in the La Boiselle sector


Darwin B40 Lecture Theatre | Darwin Building (link Map)
access via Malet Place | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: FREE
Ticketing: Ticketed and Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Jeremy Banning, Historian, researcher
Peter Barton, Historian, writer

In 2011, a team of military historians commenced a long-term study of a unique piece of First World War battleground. Bordering the village of La Boisselle, at the heart of the Somme battlefield, the sector was known to the British troops as the ‘Glory Hole’. Having lain practically undisturbed since 1918, archaeology has revealed evidence of French, British and German occupation spanning the evolution of trench warfare. The ground was also extensively undermined, forming one of the most important and labyrinthine tunnel systems on the Western Front.

This talk, co-organised by UCL CEGE and ICES, will look at the history of the sector, focussing on specific wartime actions and telling the stories of men who fought and died above and below ground.

The engineering aspects of tunnelling will also be discussed, comparing the methods adopted by the team in re-opening and exploring the system nearly one hundred years later.


Dietmar Backes
+44 (0)20 7679 7228 | d.backes@ucl.ac.uk


Book tickets