Thursday, 15 November 2007

Of Things Past

It's now almost a week since Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday. Of late this has meant that the nation thinks of the Great War, probably more than anything else and the TV underlined this with programmes about Jack Kipling and Wilfred Owen.

The Owen programme was interesting as it included land at Serre where Martin and several other of the NML members were involved in a dig in 2003 that was seeking a dugout occupied by Owen. The story of the project is on the No Man's Land website and will shortly appear in the Journal of Conflict Archaeology. Sadly they didn't mention the archaeology, nor the rather nice memorial that NML member and Plugstreet digger made to commemorate the three men we discovered. This brings us back to 11/11, of course because of the emotions evoked by the knowledge that we have excavated these men and in two cases restored them to their families. We found no identifiable remains at Plugstreet this year but in Steve L's trench the absence of remains was probably a testament to the destructive power of the mine. Whatever the case we know that we are in a place where men fell and died and where there are still missing bodies across the landscape. I am also confident that when we do find our first skeleton we will be approaching the excavation in a professional and respectful manner.

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