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Wilfred Owen's Places: The Hawthorn Crater

The Hawthorn Crater

This present day photograph was taken at the edge of the White City and from the same position as that taken by Malins when he recorded the mine explosion on film at 7.20 a.m. lst July 1916. The mine was exploded by 252 Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers using about 40,000 lbs of ammonal. The resulting crater was 80ft deep and measured 150 yds by 100 yds. Today the crater is filled with rubbish, although access to it can be reached by means of the very narrow path marked by posts and leading uphill alongside the cornfield in the picture. In January 1917, after leaving the White City, Owen and his battalion entered part of the front line located about 1500 yards behind the mine crater.

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