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Ghosts on the Somme (Paperback)

Filming the Battle – June-July 1916

WWI Somme 1916

By Alastair H Fraser, Steve Roberts, Andrew Robertshaw
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781473878211
Published: 5th April 2016

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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.

Andrew Robertshaw article summing up the three day Family Tree Battlefield Tour to Flanders as featured in

Family Tree, January 2018

As featured in

Stand To! Western Front Assc No.110

As featured in

Medway Messenger

As featured in.

Family Tree Magazine July 2016

The Battle of the Somme is one of the most famous, and earliest, films of war ever made. The film 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 and into the way in which this pioneering film was created. Their analysis of scenes in the film tells us so much about them

Wartime Memories Project

About Andrew Robertshaw

Editor - Andrew Robertshaw is Curator/Manager of The Royal Logistic Corps Museum in Deepcut, Surrey. For the past fifteen years he has been organizer of a variety of battlefield archaeological projects on the Western Front. He frequently appears on television as a commentator on battlefield archaeology and the soldier in history. His publications include A Soldier’s Life, The Somme 1st July 1916, Digging the Trenches (with David Kenyon) and Ghosts of the Somme (with Alastair Fraser and Steve Roberts).

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