A witness to the detonation of the Hawthorn Ridge mine, was British cinematographer Geoffrey Malins who was filming the 29th Division attack. He had his camera set up about half a mile away, trained on the ridge and waiting for the explosion,
The ground where I stood gave a mighty convulsion. It rocked and swayed. I gripped hold of my tripod to steady myself. Then for all the world like a gigantic sponge, the earth rose high in the air to the height of hundreds of feet. Higher and higher it rose, and with a horrible grinding roar the earth settles back upon itself, leaving in its place a mountain of smoke.
once the debris subsided, two platoons of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (86th Brigade, 29th Division) were sent forward to occupy the crater. However, the German defenders succeeded in holding the eastern lip of the crater. The early detonation alerted all Germans in the vicinity that the attack was imminent. By the time the infantry went over at 7:30 a.m., German machine guns were sweeping no man's land and artillery fire was falling on the British trenches. The attack on Hawthorn Ridge redoubt and on the entire VIII Corps front was a costly failure. By 8:30 a.m., the only ground captured by the 29th Division was the western lip of the crater held by one company but by the end of the day this was lost to a German counter-attack.
After the disaster of the first day on the Somme, British efforts were concentrated south of the Albert–Bapaume road and the Hawthorn Ridge sector was not subjected to further major attacks until the final push of the battle on 13 November, with the opening of the Battle of the Ancre. For this attack another mine was laid beneath Hawthorn Ridge, this time containing 30,000 pounds (14,000 kg) of explosives. On this occasion, superior British planning resulted in a successful assault and Hawthorn Ridge as well as Beaumont Hamel were finally captured.
Edmonds, J. E. (1932). Military Operations France and Belgium, 1916. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. I Sir Douglas Haig's Command to the 1st July: Battle of the Somme (IWM & Battery Press 1993 ed.). London: Macmillan. ISBN0-89839-185-7.
Miles, W. (1938). Military Operations France and Belgium, 1916. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. II 2nd July 1916 to the End of the Battles of the Somme (Battery Press 1992 ed.). London: Macmillan. ISBN0-901627-76-3.