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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.


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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.




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.

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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

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Heritage Alliance Heroes Award 2010 announced

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
 
       

The Heritage Alliance have announced a new initiative to celebrate the achievements of heritage volunteers:

Heritage Alliance Heroes Award 2010

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Christmas Gifts

Monday, December 21st, 2009
 
       

Martin models the SOS hat and wristband in a British trench at Plugstreet 2009.

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We find evidence of gifts for the troops in the trenches at Plugstreet, including toffee tins and the like. It was an important part of trench life, getting parcels. The most famous gifts were the Queen Mary tins that included cigarettes and chocolate but colonies sent chocolate and individuals sent the men on all sides presents to keep their morale up.
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This Christmas gifts for the troops on deployment are as important as they were in 1914. If you would like to contribute to gifts to our boys then go to:
www.supportoursoldiers.co.uk and make a donation.

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The Project has donated to the charity before and sent some more money to them this evening.
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We wish them all safe home, but in the meantime we remember them and use the insights from the archaeological evidence to reflect on the soldiers’ experience, far from home, eating boring food and having, at best, an unusual Christmas…
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Support SOS
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Merry Christmas

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Happy Reading

Thursday, November 26th, 2009
 
       

Hello Readers
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As Christmas is coming and you’re no doubt stumped for gift ideas why not consider a copy of “Digging Up Plugstreet” by Martin Brown & Richard Osgood. It’s a cracking read.
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On the subject of great reads, you could also have a look at the “Chroniques de l’Archaeologie Wallone” 26, 2009. It’s published by the Province of Wallonia and includes short reports on work undertaken in the region in 2007, including Plugstreet.

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What they carried

Sunday, March 29th, 2009
 
       

The first object photos
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Amongst other grenades and fragments was this tin for rifle grenade fuses, found in the British fire trench
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Given the NML recovery of the remains of the Australian soldier in 2008, the find of this shoulder title as part of the topsoil machining was especially poignant.

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Of Peace and Christmas Truces

Friday, December 19th, 2008
 
       

A Very Happy Christmas
Joyeux Noel
Vrolijk Keerstfeest
Froheliche Wienatchten
Nodlaig Mhaith Chugnat
Buone Feste Natalizie
Kala Chrristouyenna
Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!
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We at the Plugstreet Project wish you all the compliments of the Season and pause to remind you that it is our study area that the famous Christmas Truce between British and German soldiers took place in No Man’s Land.
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Finding the Archaeology of such an event may be impossible but we hope the spirit of this event pervades your Christmas and New Year.
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In the spirit of international cooperation that pervades the project we wish you a Happy Christmas in English, French, Flemish, German, Irish, Italian, Greek and Basque.
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We also think of our friends who are far away, some of them in dangerous places and wish them Peace.
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All Good Wishes
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The Project Team

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Poodlefaking

Friday, October 10th, 2008
 
       

You may well ask…
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It’s a term used in the Indian Army (pre 1947) by officers of other junior officers who were seen out with ladies without their Commanding Officers’ permission.
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One team member was accused of it by the University Officer Training Corps’ regular officer when at Cambridge.
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We were surprised to see it here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/
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In an article of forgotten words you still love…

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Bonekickers

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
 
       

As the first day of the dig draws nigh the No Man’s Land team have been pipped to the post with exciting discoveries by the Wessex University “Bonekickers”. For readers not familiar with them the group are stars of a BBC TV drama set in a fictional university department. You can tell it’s fiction as they drive nice cars, live in the Royal Crescent at Bath and are all attractive and witty. Oh and they found the True Cross, Boudicca’s body and the Tablet of Destiny (gasp!).
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Anyway this hugely enjoyable tosh is broadcast on a Tuesday evening and next week’s episode centres on the discovery of a First World War Tank near Verdun. We shall all be watching to see how one should really do Great War Archaeology!
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If you do watch let us know what you think via the comments!
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You will be able to see Martin and Prof Mark Horton (Bristol University, adviser to the series and alleged model for “Dolly” Parton) talking about tanks and Great War Archaeology on the Bonekickers website after the broadcast of next week’s programme. It was worth it to crawl around tanks at Bovington’s excellent Tank Museum.

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Bonekickers

Saturday, June 21st, 2008
 
       

How could I let the media event of the year go by unremarked?
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Bonekickers started last week on BBC1 in the UK. If you didn’t watch it you missed out. The new series follows the story of fictional archaeologists from the University of Wessex and each week they will be involved in a plot centring around a site.
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I suggest you read the reviews for yourselves. Particularly amusing are the pieces in The Guardian…
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But why am I telling you this?
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If you watch the episode coming up in a couple of weeks you’ll see a dig on a wreck of a Great War Tank and the recovery of its crew. I’ll say no more so I don’t spoil the surprise.

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