Ghosts on the Somme

Filming the Battle, June-July 1916

Alastair Fraser, Steve Roberts, Andrew Robertshaw

* Paperback edition of the highly praised in-depth study of the most famous documentary film of the Great War

* Unique insight into the British army on the disastrous first day of the Somme

* Uses modern photographs of the battlefield to show how this pioneering film was made

* Identifies soldiers in the film and tells their stories

* Extr
Date Published :
May 2016
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
200 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781473878211
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 6.75 X 4.75 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Endorsements: ...

'This book is the product of careful and painstaking historical detective work, and the three authors deserve the thanks of everyone with an interest in the British army of the First World War' Professor Gary Sheffield, Military Illustrated

'Ghosts on the Somme is a painstaking detailed analysis of every second of the famous film of the battle. Overall it is an admirable piece of work and a very good book. It is perhaps, given the level of detail, one for Great War or film buffs … enjoyable and thought-provoking reading.’ The Long, Long Trail

The Battle of the Somme is one of the most famous, and earliest, films of war ever made. It records the most disastrous day in the history of the British army – 1 July 1916 – and it had a huge impact when it was shown in Britain during the war. Since then images from it have been repeated so often in books and documentaries that it has profoundly influenced our view of the battle and of the Great War itself. Yet this book is the first in-depth study of this historic film, and it is the first to relate it to the surviving battleground of the Somme.

The authors explore the film and its history in fascinating detail. They investigate how much of it was faked and consider how much credit for it should go to Geoffrey Malins and how much to John MacDowell. And they use modern photographs of the locations to give us a telling insight into the landscape of the battle. This painstaking exercise in historical reconstruction will be compelling reading for everyone who is interested in the Great War.

About The Author

Alastair Fraser is a founder member of the archaeology group No Man’s Land. He has worked as researcher and participant in a number of Great War documentaries. Steve Roberts is a retired police officer and an ex-regular soldier. He specialises in researching individuals who served during the war and is also a founder member of No Man’s Land. Andrew Robertshaw frequently appears on television as a commentator on battlefield archaeology and the soldier in history, and he has coordinated the work of No Man’s Land. His publications include Somme 1 July 1916: Tragedy and Triumph, Digging the Trenches (with David Kenyon) and The Platoon.

Andrew Robertshaw is an author and a historian.


"…the first in depth study of the film and the battlefield by leading experts in their fields…"

- The Great War Magazine

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