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The Plugstreet Archaeological Project

Exploring, through forensic archaeology,

the human story of the Battle of Messines.

Sponsored by
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We are currently seeking a sponsor for this website as it follows the progress of the excavations on the battlefield, with contributions from established historians and well known experts, as the team attempt to match the historical evidence and family history to the archaeology on the ground.

Please contact us for more details.

If you enjoy this website please consider making a donation towards the costs of the project.

The Plugstreet Project is a non profit project lead by No Man's Land, The International Group for Great War Archaeology, a multinational team of volunteers specialising in the study of the First World War though archaeological excavations, historical research, map work and aerial photography. Working with academic departments, local and international partners, cutting edge techniques are being employed to gain a greater understanding of life in the trenches and the effect of the war on the local population.

The first attempt in any period of archaeology to follow a military unit from formation through training, to a baptism of fire, in an attempt to establish whether their training had indeed been successful. In addition it aims to examine the ongoing effect of the conflict, over a lifetime ago, on the residents of the area and also the families of over half a million men who fought in these fields.

Contact the Plugstreet Team

Bibliography & Sources


  • Archaeology & Research:
      Sylvia Agius
      Graham Arkley
      Bev Bailey
      Martin Brown
      Gontrand Callewaert
      Peter Chasseaud
      Carla Connolly
      Adam Cooper
      Henry Daniels
      Nicholas De Simpel
      Jane Draycott
      Kat Fennelly
      Paola Filippucci
      Alastair Fraser
      Avril Gibson
      Rob Janaway
      Angela Jobson
      Androla Johnson
      Sue Jordan
      Swanjte Krause
      Steve Litherland
      James MacNaughton
      Keith Maddison
      Peter Masters
      Audrey McCready
      Mat McLachlan
      Michael Molkentin
      Kirsty Nichol
      Richard Osgood
      Dan Phillips
      Erika Pownell
      Jon Price
      Carl Ralling
      Chris Ralling
      Joanna Ramsay
      Glen Redman
      Ant Roberts
      Steve Roberts
      Tori Roddy
      Justin Russell
      Nicholas Saunders
      Laura Scharding
      Becki Scott
      Rod Scott
      Brian Shottenkirk
      Derek Smith
      Egon Soenen
      Birger Stichelbaut
      Chantel Summerfield
      Fran Valle
      Jean-Michel Van Elslande
      Shirley Whitfield
      Ralph Whitehead
      Lesley Wood
  • Artwork:
      Peter Chasseaud
  • Camera:
      Angela Jobson
      Derek Smith
  • Computer Generated Imagery:
    1. Kenton White
  • Music:
      Kevin MacLeod
  • Narrator:
      Robert Daws
  • Stills Photography:
      Luke Barber
      Martin Brown
      Angela Jobson
      Peter Masters
      Richard Osgood
      Renata Peters
      Erika Pownell
      Derek Smith
      Birger Stichelbaut
  • Sound:
      John Lucas
      Jeremy Stephens


"Digging Up Plugstreet" by Richard Osgood and Martin Brown, an account of our research to date is now available.

The compelling story of the Australian soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division who journeyed to England in 1914, and who fought and died on the Western Front during the First World War. Using archaeology as the vehicle for their story, Martin Brown and Richard Osgood follow in the footsteps of the 'Aussies', from their training on windswept Salisbury Plain to the cheerless trenches of Belgium, where they 'dug-in' north-east of Ploegsteert to face the Germans. It presents a unique window into the world of the men who marched away to fight the so-called 'war to end wars

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