Unearthing the Hidden Tunnels of WWI

The trench warfare of World War I has almost entered the world of legend with stories of troops living in quarters two feet wide for months at a time. The realities of it were pain, discomfort, disease, and death. Often over-shadowed by the second World War, the trenches (many of which remain in France and other States on the front-line) un-excavated and forgotten – usually with warning signs posted to let others know the dangers of unexploded artillery and weaponry.

Archaeologists have begun to map and uncover one of the most extensive trench networks of the War at La Boisselle used prominently during the Somme Offensive. Military historian Jeremy Banning and his team are studying the land (only recently opened up to researchers by its private owners) and publishing their research for other scholars and to preserve the area as a memorial to those who died during the war.

You can read more about the project at the La Boisselle Study Group or in this BBC Article. You can also follow Jeremy Banning on twitter: @Jeremy Banning.

1 thought on “Unearthing the Hidden Tunnels of WWI

  1. Jim Wheeler

    Easy to forget that archeology can encompass more recent relics than of ancient times, and this looks worthy to me. Thanks for the post, Jennifer.

    The homely and otherwise mundane arcana of trench warfare will likely recall the horrors that turned America isolationist and pacifist prior to Pearl Harbor. WW I was the first major conflict which saw the wide use of chemical warfare, the tank and the machine gun.

    Where have all the soldiers gone?
    Long time passing.
    Where have all the soldiers gone?
    Long time ago.
    Where have all the soldiers gone?
    Gone to graveyards every one.
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn? — Pete Seeger


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