Even though the Battle of the Somme ended 108 years ago today, the iron harvest from the surrounding fields continues.
Today the French Department of Mine Clearance still recovers about 900 tonnes of unexposed munitions every year. Approximately 630 French minesweepers have died handling such munitions.
When General Douglas Haig closed down the offensive on 18 November, the Allied and German armies had hurled tens of millions of shells at each other and suffered around one million casualties. For Australia, the toll was intolerable with 23,000 soldiers killed or wounded at Pozieres to capture a few miles of lunar landscape.