The largest crater ever made by man in anger is now a unique memorial to all those who suffered in the Great War. It is dedicated to peace, fellowship and reconciliation between all nations who fought on the Western Front.
The Lochnagar Crater Memorial is privately owned, having been purchased by Richard Dunning on July 1st 1978. It is supported by the superb Friends of Lochnagar who give generously of their time, effort and money to help maintain it.
It is almost 300ft (91m) in diameter and 70ft (21m) deep and each year on the anniversary on July 1st a Remembrance Ceremony is held there. A small, more informal Ceremony takes place on November 11th.
The common aim is to preserve it for future generations. It is now a poignant Garden of Remembrance, created to commemorate the gallant men and women of all nations who suffered in the Great War.
No profit has, nor ever will be made from Lochnagar.
Richard Dunning writes:
"The Lochnagar Crater is an awesome sight. I first saw it almost 40 years ago and even today, hundreds of visits later, it never ceases to take my breath away.
I believe Lochnagar plays a unique role for all those who are drawn to visit the battlefields of the Great War. People who stand on the lip for the first time, including the thousands of young people, instinctively understand the fearsome power and destruction of modern warfare and, in reading the many evocative memoirs of the soldiers themselves, the terror and vulnerability of those who experienced it.
And never forgetting those who suffered bravely at home - the wives, mothers and families who daily dreaded the telegram.
Standing at Lochnagar, often with other visitors, one shares a unique feeling of compassion and connection with those who fought and fell there. There is a special spirit of fellowship that unites all who visit - and all who seek solace at the unimaginable suffering, the sacrifice, and some say the futility of that conflict.
I believe that that war especially was a stain on mankind and in some small way, Lochnagar, whilst remaining a vast, open wound on the battlefield, symbolises the eternal pain, loss and sorrow of millions of grieving people throughout Europe. A lost generation of good, gifted and innovative young men whose loss we still feel today.
I urge you to come and stand at Lochnagar and, in doing so, commemorate those who fell there. But to do so, not simply by remembering them, but by seeking to make the world that they were so cruelly denied a much more peaceful, forgiving and loving place. In their memory and in their honour.
That is the true and on-going legacy of Lochnagar. And possibly, if enough of us do that today and in the years to come, its creation may not have been entirely in vain.
Thank you for your interest in the Lochnagar Crater Memorial. If you would like to know more about how I came to own the Crater please click on this link."
Much-loved and respected Friend, founder member and Treasurer of the Friends of Lochnagar, Les Disbrey, sadly passed away in France on 4 July 2015. A Service was held for him in the village church in his beloved Contalmaison, Somme on 7 July attended by many Friends from both the UK and France. To see a eulogy for Les that was read at the church, please click this link to read the full text.
GREAT CAUTION IS NEEDED WHEN ENTERING THE SITE AND ALL VISITORS DO SO AT THEIR OWN RISK.
WRITTEN PERMISSION IS REQUIRED FROM THE OWNER FOR ANY COMMERCIAL OR MEDIA FILMING OR PHOTOGRAPHY AT LOCHNAGAR.