WW1 Revisited

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This German trench, dating from 1916, was unearthed during a major excavation by ADeDe archaeologists lead by Simon Verdeghem in 2012. The dig featured in Channel 5’s WW1 Tunnels of Death. The trench links into a large German dugout dating from the same period. The small recesses on the right were for hand grenades; one was still full of German Stick Grenades when uncovered. This is the deepest evert intact trench excavated on… Read More

Located south of Soissons in the Aisne, this German cemetery has 9,229 indivudal burials of which thirteen are unknown. There are large ‘mass graves’ in the cemetery, containing a further 5,557 burials, of which 4,779 are unknown. Taken on a Canon EOS 400D at sunset in March 2010.

This tree-lined avenue runs from the high ground behind the old British positions which overlooked Messines Ridge in Flanders. It was tree-lined in 1914 and remains one of the few places that looks almost identical to what it was like a century ago. Photographed on a summer’s evening in 2013 with a Nikon D7000.

Located in the village of La Ferte sous Jouarre, the memorial stands on the site where the Royal Engineers of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) built floating pontoon bridges across the Marne river during the pivotal Battle of the Marne in September 1914. This enabled troops to cross and tipped the balance in the favour of the Allies as the German Schlieffen Plan pushed on Paris.

In the four years of the Great War in Flanders the British Army established camps all around Ypres, many of them containing permanent structures like these two shelter bunkers located on the former site of ‘ANZAC Camp’ south-west of the city of Ypres. The camp had been used by Australian and New Zealand troops during the Battle of Passchendaele, but the bunkers may date from early 1918.

A late October sunset looking north towards Courcelette British Cemetery on a battlefield fought over in September 1916. Taken with a Nikon D7000 in 2012.

Like silent sentinels these bunkers, which once formed part of the German Hindenburg Line defences, overlook the St Quentin Canal. They look out across the fields of British victory from the final battles of the Great War on the Western Front and close by are the burials in Guisancourt Farm Cemetery; the men who were among those who took this ground in October 1918.

This photograph was taken in early evening light, during the summer of 2012. Courcelette British Cemetery is located in the heart of the Somme battlefields close to the village which was captured by Canadian troops on 15th September 1916. There are 1,970 graves in the cemetery of which 1,180 are unidentified. The majority of burials are Australians from the fighting at Pozieres and Mouquet Farm, and Canadians from Courcelette and Regina Trench…. Read More

Thiepval was one of the largest villages on the Department of the Somme before 1914. It sat on a long ridge-line and was dominated by a substantial chateau which employed a large number of estate workers. The German advance reached Thiepval in September 1914 and it became part of the battlefield for much of the rest of the war. Assaulted by British troops on 1st July 1916, it would take until 26th… Read More