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The Plugstreet Archaeological Project

Trench 7 Part IV




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The Team make the first finds in Trench 7

This video is awaiting voiceovers and final editing.

Trench 1

Trench 1 German Bunker





Digging Up Plugstreet

Richard Osgood and Martin Brown


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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Digging Up Plugstreet




Letters from the Trenches: A Soldier of the Great War

Bill Lamin


Harry Lamin was born in Derbyshire in 1877 and left school at thirteen to work in the lace industry, but by December 1916 he had been conscripted into the 9th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment and sent to war. Harry's letters home to his family describe the conflict with a poignant immediacy, even ninety years on, detailing everything from the action in battle to the often amusing incidents of life amongst his comrades.Throughout the letters, Harry's tone is unwaveringly stoical, uncomplaining and good-humoured. "Letters From The Trenches" is a fitting tribute to the unsung heroes of the Great War who fought and endured and returned home, and the one in six who did not. The letters describe the war through the eyes of those who really lived it, bringing the horrors and triumphs to life for the twenty-first-century reader. Edited by Harry's grandson, Bill, "Letters From The Trenches" tells the moving story of a brave, selfless and honourable man who endured everything that the war


Messines Ridge: Ypres

Peter Oldham


The latest in the Battleground Europe series of books covers the terrible Battle of Messines which was p receded by 19 mine explosions, the biggest mining effort in history. Additional sections include maps & cover car tours, memorials & cemeteries
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Messines Ridge: Ypres




Pillars of Fire: The Battle of Messines Ridge, June 1917

Ian Passingham


Gentlemen, we may not make history tomorrow, but we shall certainly change the geography.' So said General Plumer the day before 600 tons of explosives were detonated under the German positions on Messines Ridge. The explosion was heard by Lloyd George in Downing Street, and as far away as Dublin. Until 1918, Messines was the only clear cut Allied victory on the Western Front, coming at a time when Britain and her allies needed it most: boosting Allied morale and shattering that of the Germans. Precisely orchestrated, Messines was the first true all-arms modern battle which brought together artillery, engineers, infantry, tanks, aircraft and administrative units from a commonwealth of nations to defeat the common enemy. So why is its name not as familiar as the Somme, Passchendaele or Verdun? General Sir Herbert Plumer, perhaps the most meticulous, resourceful and respected British general of WW1, is also unfamiliar to many. This book examines the battle for the Messines-Wytschaete Rid


Plumer: The Soldier's General

Geoffrey Powell


Sir Herbert Plumer was one of the best-performing and best-regarded officers on the Allied side. He was famously thoughtful of his men and sparing of their lives.
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Plumer: The Soldier's General




Ghosts on the Somme: Filming the Battle, June-July 1916

Alastair H. Fraser, Andrew Robertshaw and Steve Roberts


The Battle of the Somme is one of the most famous, and earliest, films of war ever made. The film records the most disastrous day in the history of the British army - 1 July 1916 - and it had a huge impact when it was shown in Britain during the war. Since then images from it have been repeated so often in books and documentaries that it has profoundly influenced our view of the battle and of the Great War itself. Yet this book is the first in-depth study of this historic film, and it is the first to relate it to the surviving battleground of the Somme. The authors explore the film and its history in fascinating detail. They investigate how much of it was faked and consider how much credit for it should go to Geoffrey Malins and how much to John MacDowell. And they use modern photographs of the locations to give us a telling insight into the landscape of the battle and into the way in which this pioneering film was created. Their analysis of scenes in the film tells us so much about th


From Messines to Third Ypres: A Personal Account of the First World War by a 2/5th Lancashire Fusilier

Thomas, Floyd


the story of just a few weeks between May 1917 and July 1917 as experienced by a subaltern of the Lancashire Fusiliers. It is a detailed account where personalities and small events seem to fifi ll its pages to become tellingly signififi cant-whole lifetimes seem to pass in months. Life in the trenches is recorded with all its dangers, tragedies and discomforts punctuated by lighter moments, as we share the inexorable build-up to the big attack and the fury of war that changed and ended lives in minutes. This is a first rate, intimate and personal account of the Western Front warfare the British infantry knew.


Beneath Flanders Fields: The Tunnellers War 1914-1918

Peter Barton, Peter Doyle & Johan Vandewalle


Whilst the war raged across Flanders fields, an equally horrifying and sometimes more dangerous battle took place underground. "Beneath Flanders Fields" tells the story of the tunnellers' war, which still remains one of the most misunderstood, misrepresented and mystifying conflicts of the Great War. A wealth of personal testimonies reveal the engineering, technology and science behind how this most intense of battles was fought - and won. They speak of how the tunnellers lived a relentless existence in the depths of the battlefield for almost two and a half years, enduring physical and mental stresses that were often more extreme than their infantry counterparts. Their lives were reduced to a complex war of silence, tension and claustrophobia, leading up to the most dramatic mine offensive in history launched on 7 June 1917 at Messines Ridge. Yet, Messines was not the end of their story, which continued with the crafting of a whole underground world of headquarters, cookhouses and hos


Underground Warfare 1914-1918

Simon Jones


Simon Jones's graphic history of underground warfare during the Great War uses personal reminiscences to convey the danger and suspense of this unconventional form of conflict. He describes how the underground soldiers of the opposing armies engaged in a ruthless fight for supremacy, covers the tunnelling methods they employed, and shows the increasingly lethal tactics they developed during the war in which military mining reached its apotheosis. He concentrates on the struggle for ascendancy by the British tunnelling companies on the Western Front. But his wide-ranging study also tells the story of the little known but fascinating subterranean battles fought in the French sectors of the Western Front and between the Austrians and the Italians in the Alps which have never been described before in English. Vivid personal testimony is combined with a lucid account of the technical challenges - and ever-present perils - of tunnelling in order to give an all-round insight into the extraord
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Underground Warfare 1914-1918




The Other Side of the Wire. Volume 1

Ralph J. Whitehead


"The Other Side of the Wire" brings to life a period long forgotten in the decades that have passed since the Great War ended in 1918. Until recently most books written on the Battle of the Somme concentrated almost exclusively on the British effort with only a brief mention of the period before 1 July 1916 and the German experience in the battle. Most simply ignore the nearly two years of warfare that preceded the momentous offensive. By focusing on one of the principal German formations involved in the Somme fighting, author Ralph Whitehead brings to life this little-known period, from the initial German advance on the Somme in September 1914 through the formation of the front that became so well known almost two years later. - Ralph Whitehead is a member of the Plugstreet Project Team.


No Labour, No Battle: The Labour Corps in the First World War

John Starling & Ivor Lee


From 1917 British Soldiers who were unfit or too old for front line service were to serve unarmed and within the range of German guns for weeks or even months at a time undertaking labouring tasks. The vital, yet largely unreported role played by these brave soldiers was crucial to achieving victory in 1918. For this book John Starling and Ivor Lee have brought together extensive research from both primary and secondary sources. It traces how Military Labour developed from non-existent in 1914, to a Corps in November 1918 some 350,000 strong, supported by Dominion and foreign labour of more than a million men. The majority of the Labour Corps did not keep war diaries, therefore this work provides vital information for those wishing to acquire information about an ancestor who served in the Corps.


Tea, Rum and Fags: Sustaining Tommy 1914-1918

Alan Weeks


It is said that 'an army marches on its stomach', but histories of the First World War usually concentrate on its political and military aspects. The gargantuan task of keeping the British Expeditionary Force fed and watered is often overlooked, yet without adequate provision the soldiers would never have been able to fight. Tommy couldn't get enough tea, rum or fags, yet his commanders sent him bully beef and dog biscuits. But it was amazing how 2 million men did not usually go short of nourishment, although parcels from home, canteens and estaminets had a lot to do with that. Incredibly, Tommy could be in a civilised town supping, beer, wine, egg and chips, and a few hours later making do with bully beef in a water-filled trench. Alan Weeks examines how the army got its food and drink and what it was like.


Machine-Guns and the Great War

Paul Cornish


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Machine-Guns and the Great War




Messines 1917

Alexander Turner


Osprey Campaign book exploring the Battle of Messines. At 0310 hours on 7 June 1917, the pre-dawn gloom on the Western Front was shattered by the 'pillars of fire' - the rapid detonation of 19 huge mines, secreted in tunnels under the German lines and containing 450 tonnes of explosives. Admitted by the Germans to be a 'masterstroke', the devastating blasts caused 10,000 soldiers to later be posted simply as 'missing'. Launching a pre-planned attack into the carnage, supported by tanks and a devastating artillery barrage, the British took the strategic objective of Messines Ridge within hours. A rare example of innovation and success in the First World War, this book is a fresh and timely examination of a fascinating campaign.
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Messines 1917




The Attack of the British Ninth Corps at Messines Ridge (1917)

The War Department





Beneath Hill 60 [DVD]


BENEATH HILL 60 tells the extraordinary true story of Oliver Woodward, the legendary Australian metal scientist. In 1916, Woodward faced the most difficult decision, ultimately having to separate from his new young love for the deadly carnage of the Western Front. On treacherous territory, behind the German enemy lines, Woodward and his secret platoon of Australian tunnelers face a suicidal battle to defend a leaking, tunnel system. A tunnel packed with enough high explosives to change the course of the War.
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Beneath Hill 60 [DVD]




Hill 60: Ypres (Battleground Europe)

Nigel Cave


The shell-ravaged landscape of Hill 60, some three miles south east of Ypres, conceals a labyrinth of tu nnels and underground workings. This book offers a guide to the memorials, cemeteries and museums at the site '


Beneath Hill 60 [Paperback]

Will Davies


'Ten seconds, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one - fire! Down goes the firing switch. At first, nothing. Then from deep down there comes a low rumble, and it as if the world is spliting apart...' On 7th June 1917, nineteen massive mines exploded beneath Messines Ridge near Ypres. The largest man-made explosion in history up until that point shattered the landscape and smashed open the German lines. Ten thousand German soldiers died. Two of the mines - at Hill 60 and the Caterpillar - were fired by men of the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company, comprising miners and engineers rather than parade-ground soldiers. Drawing on the diaries of one of the key combatants, "Benealth Hill 60" tells the little-known, devastatingly brutal true story of this subterranean war waged beneath the Western Front - a stygian battle-ground where men drowned in viscous chalk, suffocated in the blue gray clay, choked on poisonous air or died in the darkness, caught up up in vicious hand-to-han
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Beneath Hill 60 [Paperback]




Lander's War: The War Diaries of Lt. Charles Herbert Lander 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Charles Herbert Lander


Charles Lander, had to wait until the chest measurement was reduced before he could apply as a private soldier with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Upon his commission, Charles was to serve in the 10th Battalion which was a part of 57th Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. Read on, and let Charles take you into the tumultuous world of the Great War, where moments of comedy, low points and sheer terror combine; and wonder as to how humans could endure, go home and live again in everyday society. Lt. Charles Herbert Lander truly had the skill to pull back the curtains on the window of time; with his words, he will take you to the now quiet fields of France and Flanders, now transformed from the most dangerous places on Earth to their former rural peace. He tells us how it was and who were the players in the great game, as they appear and all too often disappear from these pages.


The German Army in World War I: v. 3: 1917-18

Nigel Thomas


."..beautifully illustrated and the eight color plates show off a variety of WWI uniforms/equipment that are appropriate for armies that fought in the RCW...fills a very necessary spot in my wargaming library... As always, Osprey books form the first line of any 'attack' on a new period of study!" -"HMG Reviewing Stand" Product Description This third volume of a mini-series covering the German forces in World War I examines the troops that fought during the climax of the war on all fronts: the last great battles of attrition in the West (Arras, Messines, 3rd Ypres - Passchendaele/Langemarck - and Cambrai, 1917) and the collapse of Russia in the East. The 'Kaiserschlacht' campaign is covered, as are the German operations in Italy, the Balkans, and in support of Turkey in the Middle East. Uniform changes during this period reflected the introduction of new tactics and weapons and new types of troops, such as tanks and assault battalions.


Beneath Flanders Fields: The Tunnellers War 1914-1918

Peter Barton & Peter Doyle & & Johan Vandewalle


Whilst the war raged across Flanders fields, an equally horrifying and sometimes more dangerous battle took place underground. "Beneath Flanders Fields" tells the story of the tunnellers' war, which still remains one of the most misunderstood, misrepresented and mystifying conflicts of the Great War. A wealth of personal testimonies reveal the engineering, technology and science behind how this most intense of battles was fought - and won. They speak of how the tunnellers lived a relentless existence in the depths of the battlefield for almost two and a half years, enduring physical and mental stresses that were often more extreme than their infantry counterparts. Their lives were reduced to a complex war of silence, tension and claustrophobia, leading up to the most dramatic mine offensive in history launched on 7 June 1917 at Messines Ridge. Yet, Messines was not the end of their story, which continued with the crafting of a whole underground world of headquarters, cookhouses and hos


The German Army at Passchendaele

Jack Sheldon


Even after the passage of almost a century, the name Passchendaele has lost none of its power to shock and dismay. Reeling from the huge losses in earlier battles, the German army was in no shape to absorb the impact of the Battle of Messines and the subsequent bitter attritional struggle. Throughout the fighting on the Somme, the German army had always felt that it had the ability to counter Allied thrusts, but following the shock reverses of April and May 1917, much heart searching had led to the urgent introduction of new tactics of flexible defence. When these in turn were found to be wanting, the psychological damage shook the German defenders badly. But, as this book demonstrates, at trench level the individual soldier of the German Army was still capable of fighting extraordinarily hard, despite being outnumbered, outgunned and subjected to relentless, morale-sapping shelling and gas attacks. The German army drew comfort from the realisation that, although it had had to yield g


Lander's War: The War Diaries of Lt. Charles Herbert Lander 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Charles Herbert Lander


Written by a serving officer from 10th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment in WW1 on the Western Front. This book provides detailed accounts of the Officers view of the war.












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