Monday, 28 January 2008

The BBC News website is carrying a report from Germany. It states that a man believed to be the last German veteran of the Western Front has died.

The phrase "believed to be" is important because Germany has no records of its veterans. As the article points out this is due to the country's 20th century history and it's role in the two world wars.

Whatever else this passing marks another sure step toward the War ceasing to be memory and becoming History. The people who were there are disappearing and we must seek other ways to explore, understand and commemorate the events. We are trying to show how archaeology can do this.

We say commemorate and mean it: whether German or Belgian or Indian or whoever the War was a tradgedy that has effects at national and personal levels that can still be felt today. To commemorate the War is not to glorify it or celebrate national triumph, rather it is to mark an event that still has resonance today. Above all we remember that we are all people.

Friday, 25 January 2008

O For a Muse of Fire

Yesterday Martin gave a lunchtime lecture about the Plugstreet Project at the National Army Museum. There was an audience of about 50, including two team members. The lecture was well-received and stimulated both interesting questions and enjoyable discussion both in the lecture theatre and the NAM's cafe afterwards.

Thanks to anyone reading this who did come along and thanks to the Museum for giving us the opportunity to give the first major presentation on our work.

If your archaeological/historical society would like to hear about our work then get in touch via the blog and we'll see if we can arrange a lecture for you.

Martin also included the project in a presentation to Stafford and Mid Staffordshire Archaeology Society last Friday to an audience of about 100. He was actually talking about training camps on Cannock Chase and the New Zealanders but used the project as an example of how we can follow techniques and units from training to combat. It helps that the New Zealanders were assaulting Messines at about the time the Anzac 3 Div were attacking "our" German trenches.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Opportunities to Hear More...

Happy New Year folks.

Readers in London wanting to hear more about the project have an opportunity to see Martin give a presentation on the project at the National Army Museum in Chelsea on Thursday January 24th at 12.30. This forms part of the NAM's lunchtime lecture series and we are grateful to them for this opportunity to present our results.

The Museum lecture series is listed here:

The NAM is situated on Royal Hospital Road, next to the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London. The nearest Tube station is probably Sloane Square. From the station walk down the King's Road and turn left at McDonalds (yes they do have one on the King's Road) and follow your road until you see the Hospital. The Museum is the 1970's block on the right!

Meanwhile this blog will continue, describing our efforts to deal with last year's results and set up another season of digging for 2008.