A group of 'Friends' Image courtesy of Warren Osborne.
The Friends of Lochnagar was founded by a small group of First World War devotees who, once a year gathered together at the Lochnagar Crater beside the village of La Boisselle in the area of the Somme, France. In 1989 Richard Dunning the owner of the Crater, suggested that we form ourselves into a small informal group, and the Friends of Lochnagar came into being.
The Friends are an active, creative and sociable organisation.
Every year a formal service and wreath laying ceremony is held at the Lochnagar Crater on July 1st at 7.30 a.m. to commemorate the opening of the British infantry assault of the Battle of the Somme. This is followed by four short commemorative and wreath laying services at the memorials in the village of La Boisselle.
In recent years Friends have joined with the Mayor and the Villagers of La Boisselle, in commemorative and wreath laying services at the French and British memorials in the village. These services take place on November the 11th, Armistice Day. A wreath is layed at the Lochnagar Cross, on this very commemorative day, on behalf of the Friends of Lochnagar.
Our first dinner, of the year, is held on the evening of July 1st at our Somme headquarters the Hotel de la Paix in the town of Albert, France. Our host for this special evening is Friend Jean-Luc Richard and his excellent staff. Our second annual dinner, usually the last week - end in October, takes place at The Westminster Hotel, Nottingham, England. Our hosts for this special evening is Mr. Phil Reay the Hotel General Manager and his excellent staff who always makes the Friends most welcome. The Nottingham week-end is superbly orgainised and administrated superbly by Friend Mick Fellows. These two dates of the year have attained a very special place in the hearts of the Friends of Lochnagar, and new Friends are encouraged to participate.
To communicate and interact with our members, we publish our journal, 'The New Chequers' , twice yearly to which we encourage all Friends' to contribute articles and information, from all theatres and subjects of the Great War. We also produce a Newsletter three times yearly and maintain this Web Site. We also invite members to join our email discussion group to keep in touch and up to date with developments.
The Friends of Lochnagar is a non-profit making organisation furthering the memories of the Great War.
To keep alive the memory and to commemorate the events of the Great War. To ensure that the men who served in the First World War are not forgotten.
To encourage and facilitate the study of the Battle of the Somme and all theatres of the Great War so that lasting benefit can be gained from its valuable lessons.
To support Richard Dunning, owner of Lochnagar Crater Memorial, in the upkeep and maintenance of the Lochnagar Crater historical site.
The Friends have members worldwide. They range from authors, Great War specialists and amateur historians to relatives of those who served and died and those who simply want to remember. Unfortunately, no longer, have we members who were veterans of the Great War. Since its founding in 1989 the Association has widened its membership and is still growing healthily.
Major annual events in the Friends calendar:
Late May Bank holiday, Crater main maintenance weekend
1st July Lochnagar Crater Memorial ceremony
Annual Friends of Lochnagar Reunion Dinner, in October, in Nottingham