One Day Somme Tour

One Day Somme Tour

For the British people, the Battle of the Somme, fought from 1 July to 18 November 1916, more than perhaps any other episode has come to epitomise the emotional power and significance of the First World War.

Thiepval Memorial to the Missing which honours over 73,000 men killed in the Somme fighting who have no known grave

Across Britain, the Somme still evokes feelings of immense personal hardship, of carnage, the loss of a grand generation of men the like of whom we feel we will never see again.

The huge Y Sap mine crater at La Boisselle

Over 141 days British forces advanced 7 miles, but at the cost of almost 420,000 casualties, including 125,000 dead. It felt, and continues to feel, like a very high price. Many have questioned whether it was worth it. Yet the value of the Somme cannot simply be calculated in terms of dead and wounded. Vital military lessons were learned by the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).

The soldiers of all its nations were, by the end of the year, battle-hardened and professional. They entered 1917 as a far more formidable force than they had appeared a year earlier. The Germans, too, recognised the battle as ‘the muddy grave of the German field army’ and turned for their main weapon of assault against the Allies to the submarine. Seen as part of the wider course of the war, the bitter fighting on the Somme is perhaps best characterised as a necessary evil.

Possible stops could include:


  • La Boisselle and the Lochnagar Crater, 1 July 1916
  • Via Mash Valley to Ovillers and the Nab
  • Past the Ulster Tower, over the Ancre towards Beaucourt and up to the Sunken Lane beyond Beaumont Hamel. Hawthorn Ridge mine.
  • Sheffield Park and 31st Division at Serre
  • Newfoundland Memorial Park, Beaumont-Hamel

Lunch at the Old Blighty Tea Rooms, La Boisselle


  • Fricourt and the Bois Francais
  • Devonshire Cemetery and the attack of the Devons
  • Livens Flame Projector sites at Mametz and Carnoy
  • Maricourt to Montauban
  • Flat Iron Copse Cemetery & Welsh Dragon Memorial at Mametz Wood
  • Caterpillar Valley Cemetery
  • Longueval and Delville Wood. Ginchy, Guillemont and the Quadrilateral
  • Via High Wood and Martinpuich to Pozières
  • Mouquet Farm and Thiepval
  • Thiepval Visitor Centre and Thiepval Memorial

The beautiful solitude of Suzanne Cemetery No.3 on the way down to the Somme valley