Exploring, through forensic archaeology, the human story of the Battle of Messines
The Plugstreet Project is a non profit project lead by No Man’s Land Archaeology Group, a multinational team of volunteers specialising in the study of the First World War though archaeological excavations, historical research, map work and aerial photography. Working with academic departments, local and international partners, cutting edge techniques are being employed to gain a greater understanding of life in the trenches and the effect of the war on the local population.
The Great War of 1914-1918 took place barely a century ago, at the start of the Plugstreet Project, men who had taken part in these battles were still alive and the memories of numerous others live on in their letters, memoirs and in some cases oral history recordings. Across the world archives hold thousands upon thousands of documents, maps and photographs. What could we possibly learn from excavating the landscape upon which such well documented events took place? The Plugstreet Project is the first attempt in any period of archaeology to follow a military unit from formation through training, to a baptism of fire, in an attempt to establish whether their training had indeed been successful. In addition it aims to examine the ongoing effect of the conflict, over a lifetime ago, on the residents of the area and also the families of over half a million men who fought in these fields. By combining the findings on site with documentary evidence, academic and scientific investigation, the team set out to discover the story of the Battle of Messines, one of the least know but perhaps one of the most decisive battles of the Great War.
This website tells that story and provides an opportunity for the families of those who lived and died in these fields, to share their own little slice of history, so helping to build the true picture of this landscape and the lives it has touched.
Go and check out their website, buy their books and watch their videos! http://www.plugstreet-archaeology.com