Thiepval Visitor Centre, Somme Battlefields, France

Thiepval Visitor Centre.
Exit from the Thiepval Visitor Centre leading to the Memorial.
Thiepval Visitor Centre.

The Thiepval Visitor Centre was built in 2004. It is located a short distance from the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme and the Thiepval Anglo-French Cemetery.

Exhibition display panel in the Visitor Centre.
Exhibition display panel in the Visitor Centre.

The idea for a visitor centre museum was first discussed at the annual ceremony of Remembrance on 1 July 1998. Sir Frank Sanderson led a small group in the campaign to build this educational centre. The Anglo-French project was brought to fruition with the help of generous donations to meet the British fundraising target of £660,000.

The Visitor Centre has been imaginatively constructed at ground level so that it does not impact as an obtrusive building on the local area around the Thiepval Memorial.

The Role of the Visitor Centre

Inside the Thiepval Visitor Centre, with (left) the photographic panel of 600 of the Missing of the Somme and (right) Lutyens' scale model for the memorial.
Inside the Thiepval Visitor Centre, with (left) the photographic panel of 600 of the Missing of the Somme and (right) Lutyens' scale model for the memorial.

The Visitor Centre welcomes over 150,000 visitors to the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing each year. At the Visitor Centre the memorial is put in the context of the battlefield. Display panels in three languages — English, French and German — provide an overview of the course of the Great War from 1914-1918.

Display panels focus on the events during the Battle of the Somme in 1916 which occurred at the small village of Thiepval and its surroundings.

Three films, each lasting approximately 10 minutes, have been specially compiled covering the subjects of Thiepval, The Battle of the Somme and Memory.

Thiepval Database Project

Photographs of eight of the men from the Panel of the Missing (Courtesy of Pam & Ken Linge)
Eight photographs of the 600 on the Panel of the Missing

In the entrance of the Visitor Centre a panel of 600 photographs represents the 72,000 men whose names are commemorated on the nearby Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.

As a Remembrance Project to honour and remember all of the men named on the Thiepval Memorial the collation of information about them has been ongoing since 2003.

If you have photographs of information on a soldier who is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing you are warmly invited to contact the Thiepval Database Project. See our page and contact details:

Thiepval Database Project

Pam and Ken Linge have published a book about their research into the men commemorated on this memorial, called Missing But Not Forgotten. See our link in Related Reading below.

Visitor Information

Bench seating for the rolling film show at the Visitor Centre.
Bench seating for the rolling film show at the Visitor Centre.

Opening Hours

Winter annual closure

Mid December to mid January. For dates check on the website:

Website: www.historial.org

Admission

Visitor Centre reception and shop.
Visitor Centre reception and shop

Free

Facilities

A fully illustrated 95 page Exhibition Centre Guidebook is available from the shop to purchase.

A leaflet and poster of the 600 soldiers in the “Panel of the Missing” is available to purchase.

Contact Information

Address: Thiepval Visitor Centre, Rue de l'Ancre, 80300 Thiepval, France

Telephone: +33 (0)3 22 74 65 44

Email: thiepval@historial.org

Website: www.historial.org

Location

Latitude N 50° 3' 8.442" ; Longitude E 2° 41' 17.195"

Latitude: 50.052345; Longitude: 2.688110

The Thiepval Visitor Centre is located close to the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. It can be reached from the D929 main road from Albert to Bapaume. In the village of Pozières on the D929 the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing is signposted. Driving south from Bapaume it will be signposted to the right to Thiepval on the D73. Driving north from Albert it will be signposted to the left to Thiepval on the D73.

The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing is a short distance from the Visitor Centre.

Related Reading

Book, Missing But Not Forgotten

Missing but Not Forgotten: Men of the Thiepval Memorial - Somme [hardcover]

by Ken Linge and Pam Linge

This excellent book is published after more than 10 years of dedicated research into the men commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. Ken and Pam Linge are behind the Thiepval Database Project and have been collecting biographical information on the missing men since 2003. 288 pages. Published by Pen & Sword Military (2 Sept 2015), ISBN-10: 1473823587; ISBN-13: 978-1473823587

Related Link

Building the Visitor Centre

For information about the origins of the Anglo-French project to build the Visitor Centre see:

Website: www.thiepval.org.uk

Related Topic

Thiepval Memorial and Anglo-French Cemetery

The Anglo-French military cemetery in the grounds of the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.
Anglo-French military cemetery in the grounds of the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing

The memorial and cemetery are located a short distance from the Thiepval Visitor Centre:

Thiepval Memorial to the Missing

Thiepval Anglo-French Cemetery