Project Beaumont Hamel
With Andy Robertshaw
Beaumont Hamel includes a French battlefield from 1915, a French cemetery, numerous British cemeteries and various German cemeteries that were relocated post war. A key feature is the Newfoundland Memorial. The area was fought over in 1914 and 1915 by the French and German armies and was handed to the British in the summer of 1915.
The area is the northern end of the Somme Battlefield. Beaumont Hamel features in the 1916 ‘Battle of the Somme’, from the crushing British defeat received on 1st July and being the site of the final victory on 13th November which ends the battle.
In June and July some of the most well know photographs and segments of film were taken on the battlefield by Ernest Brooks and Geoffrey Malins and was disputed by the British and Germans until February 1917 when the Germans withdrew to the Hindenburg Line.
The area became a front line again in March 1918 and the British and New Zealand Forces faced the Germans on much the same ground as in 1916.
In august 1918 the German forces were finally pushed back and the displaced French population returned to their homes and farms.
Since 1918 the area has been used for battlefield tourism and pilgrimage with a central feature being the Newfoundland/Canadian Monument.
Project Beaumont Hamel will take the form of the most intensive study of any Great War battlefield ever attempted. Working within a defined map boundary of Beaumont Hamel area an international team of experts and volunteers will conduct a programme of research using all sources of evidence to create an in depth archive of material devoted to the battlefield of 1914-18 and post war reconstruction...