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The Plugstreet Archaeological Project

Exploring, through forensic archaeology,

the human story of the Battle of Messines.

Thatched Cottage

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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.




Welcome to the website of The Plugstreet Archaeological Project, this site is currently in development.

Thatched Cottage was situated at the side of a narrow track on a slight rise in the flat landscape of the battlefield near Plugstreet Wood, with the German trench known as Ultimo Reserve running past it.

The site of Thatched Cottage is roughly in the centre of this photograph, which was taken from the German Front Line.

The Enemy post at Thatched Cottage was captured on the afternoon of the 9th of June by a patrol from "C" Coy, 33rd Battalion, AIF, led by L/Cpl Christopher Fowler. Read about his exploits.



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"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






The Plugstreet Project are currently seeking sponsors for this website and a documentary series about the excavations. If you are able to assist we would love to hear from you.











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