View of the battlefield at La Boisselle in September 1916 showing the Cross erected to several members of the 34th Division, who were killed in action on 1st July, 1916. This Cross was 20 yards to the left of the roadway on the hill crest overlooking the giant mine crater, Becourt Wood, Sausage Valley and on to Fricourt, Mametz and Carnoy; since replaced by a permanent monument. © IWM (Q1055)

The Lochnagar Crater and its charitable Foundation

Lovingly preserved, it has long been dedicated to peace and reconciliation – a symbol of the loss and suffering of all nations in the Great War, and all wars.

The awesome and inspirational Lochnagar Crater signalled the opening attack of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. With 75% casualties, it was the scene of unprecedented carnage on the bloodiest day in British military history. The massive explosion was, up until that time, the loudest man-made sound in history and remains to this day the largest crater ever made by man in anger.

In pre-Covid years it has had up to 250,000 visitors annually, many of them young people.

The Great War was truly global in its reach, with men of every race, colour, creed and religion volunteering to join the great armies of Europe, Africa and Asia, destined to serve, suffer and die, often thousands of miles from home.

Women paid a heavy price too, as well as the hardship brought by the loss of their menfolk, they served as nurses, factory workers and in jobs vacated everywhere by the men now gone to fight.

The Lochnagar Crater Foundation was formed:
  • To maintain and preserve the site, and to enable visitors to have a fulfilling and emotional experience.
  • To ensure it is never exploited for commercial or personal gain.
  • To provide year-round, free accessibility for all.
  • To create two annual remembrance ceremonies: one on the anniversary of the explosion on July 1st, and one on Armistice Day on November 11th.
  • To foster the unique atmosphere of peace and to help promote personal, social, national and international reconciliation.
  • To bring individuals and communities together in an innovative spirit of kindness, goodwill and fellowship.

As it states on the Wreath:


In a spirit of
remembrance and reconciliation,
Let us now, in their honour
Go in Peace

Lochnagar Crater Foundation

We invite you to make a personal commitment to peace.

Richard Dunning and the Lochnagar Crater Foundation

The Lochnagar Crater Memorial was purchased by Richard Dunning MBE on 1st July 1978. Discover more about how he came to own the Crater.