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HOME

CREATION OF CENTRE

 STOP PRESS
 and how to get there

PHOTOGRAPHS

FUNDRAISING
EVENTS

CWGC INFORMATION SHEET
(NEEDS ADOBE ACROBAT READER)

LIST OF DONORS
(NEEDS ADOBE ACROBAT READER)

FINAL NEWSLETTER
from March 2005
(NEEDS ADOBE ACROBAT READER)



OPENING CEREMONY PROGRAMME


The Thiepval
Visitor Centre

8 rue de l'Ancre
80300 Thiepval
France

Tel: 00333 2274 6047
Fax: 00333 2247 6544


thiepval@historial.org

site managed by
1 Can Help, Web
 Design Services


 
 
 

The CAF Thiepval Project 

Somme


Registered Charity Number. 268369
 
Fundraising now complete

AT LAST A VISITOR CENTRE AT THIEPVAL
 

Only STOP PRESS is now up-dated

 

The Visitor centre is now the property of the Conseil Géral de la Somme and managed on their behalf by their own Historial de la Grande Guerre museum located in Péronne

This website was the UK fundraising vehicle for the establishment of a Visitor Centre near to the Lutyens memorial to the Missing of the Battle of the Somme at Thiepval.

After eight years during which the dreams of thousands of benefactors gradually became reality the new Centre is now open and, as always planned, is the property of the Conseil Général of the Somme and under the  management of their Historial de la Grande Guerre (museum) of Péronne.

For details of all that happened to make this possible please go to -                                                                                                    

'THE CREATION OF THE CENTRE'

For details of the opening ceremony in September 2004 go to -                       

'NEWSLETTER - FINAL EDITION'  and  'PHOTOGRAPHS'
 

For opening times, how to get there and the latest news please go to:-

'STOP PRESS'

Thiepval is the largest and one of the most emotive memorials to the Missing from any war in which British soldiers have died. It stands in an isolated windswept position on the Somme - and had absolutely no facilities for visitors and nothing to explain what had happened in 1916. All that visitors found were 600 British and French graves and the names of over 72,000 British soldiers carved into the stone of the massive memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and impressively maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. (CWGC)

Tragically, many of us have a direct family connection with at least one of these names. That is why we return; and that is why many thousands of school children are taken there each year.

In 1999, under the patronage of His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent and Sir Michael Jay, the then British Ambassador to France, a small group of people came together to rectify this sad situation. This group consisted of Sir Frank Sanderson OBE (a Royal British Legion branch chairman), Colonel Piers Storie-Pugh (Royal British Legion) www.britishlegion.org.uk, Madame Geneviève Potié MBE (the Mayor of Thiepval), Brigadier Andrew Gadsby (then Military Attaché at the British Embassy in Paris) and Sénateur Fernand Demilly, then Président of the Conseil Général of the Département of the Somme.

After searching for a way forward it was soon realised by the British members of the group that the only solution was for them to seek to raise funds in the UK and then discuss the matter with the Département of the Somme. Sénateur Demilly then generously agreed not only to match funds raised in the UK, but also to organise the construction and then to run the visitor centre. This arrangement was welcomed by the British Government and UK fundraising went ahead.  The Centre was opened by His Royal Highness on 27th September 2004 and is now the property of and run by the Conseil Général de la Somme.

All the research, history, fundraising and UK management was voluntary and including the un-costed 'time' of members of the Somme departmental staff the total cost was in the region of £2,000,000