Site Index

Plugstreet Blog

This is the new blog of the Plugstreet Archaeological Project.

   A Great War themed project exploring sites around Comines-Warneton and Messines in Belgium.    The project is being led by members of No Man's Land - The European Group for Great War    Archaeology and the Comines-Warneton Historical Society.

Sponsored by
insert sponsor's banner here.

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.

Opening of the Plugstreet Interpretation Centre

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

Today a number of our team are attending the opening of the new Interpretation Centre at Ploegsteert.
A video clip from No Tele showing part of the display is available at
Ploegsteert: inauguration de Plugstreet

A few photos from the opening ceremony are available on the Ploegsteert Blog
The new website for the new centre will be:
Plugstreet 14-18 experience



Monday, July 29th, 2013

The entire project team would like to extend their congratulations to Avril and James MacNaughton, two of the core team at Plugstreet, on the occasion of their wedding in Chandler Arizona on Saturday 27th August 2013. With our best wishes for a long and happy life together.


Laying of the First Stone

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Last week, the ceremonial first stone of the Plugstreet 14-18 Interpretation Centre was laid by The Australian Ambassador, Dr Brendan Nelson, and Mayor Gilbert Deleu.

Gilbert Deleu said: “Comines-Warneton is the only territory of Wallonia, which was occupied by the belligerent forces, with Ploegsteert as the southernmost part of the Ypres Salient. Within two kilometers, there are thirteen cemeteries, 35 concrete structures, four craters and the Catacombs appointed in 1917. The goal is to absorb the experiences of soldiers and civilians. The set design is based on testimonies, photographs, maps, relics and newspapers through international collaborations with British and Australian historians and at the initiative of a scientific committee, the Walloon Association for Heritage and Archaeological Historical Society of Comines-Warneton. ”

Watch the local news report

The Plugstreet Tem are proud to be involved and we look forward to seeing the development of the site.


The Last Post Ceremony in Ploegsteert, 11 November 2011

Friday, November 11th, 2011

We would like to share with you this video of the Armistice Ceremony at the Plugstreet Memorial on 11-11-2011, in memory of all those who served.


Drink Pink for Heroes

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Last year the team did their bit for current service personnel. In addition to drinking various Belgian beers the team drank pink for Heroes.

Kirsty, who runs the bar at the Peace Village, as well as supervising a team, had a brainwave. If we sold pints of squash we could raise money got Help for Heroes. That’s what we did and we made 150 Euros or £135 for H4H.

We will be doing the same thing again this year, this time for the Army Benevolent Fund.

What better feeling than a cooling drink after a hot day on site AND knowing the investigations of yesterday’s soldiers are helping today’s!


Messines Anniversary

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Richard spent 7th June 2011 marking the anniversary of the Battle of Messines working on a piece of New Zealand military heritage.

In 1919 a giant kiwi was carved into the chalk of Salisbury Plain by troops from NZ waiting to be shipped home. Today that kiwi still survives, glowing white above Bulford but it only looks nice because each year it is maintained by volunteers who include serving soldiers, staff from the New Zealand High Commission, local Scouts and other volunteers.

In recent years another of the NML team has been assisting. Bev is a kiwi in exile and has strong family links with the military.


Messines in Miniature

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Readers of the latest edition of Military Times will be able to read an article by Martin about the model of Messines and its defences that was constructed by men of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade at their training camp on Cannock Chase (Staffordshire).

The model is made of cement and brickends and depicts the town and the German trenches defending it. The NZRB model is a copy of the tactical model of the wider battlefield created at Petit Pont. This example was used as a briefing tool for troops ahead of the Messines action and film shows the Australian 3rd Div studying it.

We believe we have identified the site of the model and hope to search for remains this summer.


Remembrance Day

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the guns fell silent, 92 years later we pause to spend a minute in silence to remember those who fell in the war to end all wars and in the conflicts which have followed.

Today the Plugstreet Team will be attending Remembrance Day services across the world. Please click here to join us in a moment of reflection to remember those who gave so much.

Lest We Forget

Remembrance events attended by members of the Plugstreet Team include:_

  • The opening of the Afghan Memorial Garden at Lydiard Park on Tuesday. This field of remembrance is dedicated to those who have lost their lives in Afghanistan, and will be open daily from 9am to 4pm from November 9 until November 21.
  • _

  • The service at Victoria Station, London, to commemorate the
    90th anniversary of the arrival of the body of the Unknown Warrior prior
    to his interment on 11.11.20 in Westminster Abbey. Organised by the London branch of the WFA, small exhibition is held at platform 8, on the evening of the 10th of November, with the Last Post and two minutes silence without interruption from station announcements. This year there was a very good turnout, complete with British Legion
    flags and about eight wreaths, mostly from rail companies and staff. Click to view a slide show of photos.
  • _

  • The re-dedication of the war memorial at Ingrow station on the Kieghley and Worth Valley line. This memorial to railwaymen who fell in the Great War, has recently been re-discovered.

  • _

  • Northampton Branch of the WFA, where Martin gave an evening talk on our work.
  • _

  • RAF Middleton St George Remembrance Service at Durham Tees Valley Airport.This service remembers the contribution of the Commonwealth Forces to both world wars and current conflicts, especially the RCAF who were based there during the Second World War. This year the service was well attended despite atrocious weather, fortunately the heavy rain stopped just before the service began and as the wreaths were laid, a rainbow appeared over the St George Hotel, previously the Officer’s Mess when the base was active.



Evening Lecture – Lewes, this Friday

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Martin will be giving an evening lecture for the Lewes Archaeological Group on the Plugstreet Project at 19.30 on Friday 1st October.

The lecture will be in Lewes Town Hall (Lewes, East Sussex) and there is a small charge for people who are not members of the Group.

There will be an opportunity to purchase copies of the book “Digging up Plugstreet” after the lecture.


Floral Tributes

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

The team must extend huge thanks to Sara Redstone and Carlos at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew for providing the beautiful wreath laid down at Pte Mather’s funeral by the team. With their experience of creating wreaths for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to lay down at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday they were able to create a stunning tribute. Composed of Australian flowers and foliage such as kangaroo’s paw and eucalyptus the other crucial element was a leaf of Kurrajong – the nickname of Alan’s unit within the 33rd Btn.

To them our sincere thanks

Detail of Australian plants


Website and All Material © Copyright MMX
- All Rights Reserved

The Plugstreet Archaeological Project

Website and Multimedia by Middleton House Productions