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Remembered Today:

Michael Thomson

Finding relics on the Somme

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pierssc

Well that’s one way of clearing the drains but I don’t imagine it did the pipes much good!

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303man

This is what you see in the ground, takes a trained eye, Pic 1 taken eye height from the ground, picture 2 zoomed in on the spot.  1 x Shrapnel Ball.  Best time is after the fields have been ploughed after the harvest and then been overwintered and weathered.

 

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Edited by 303man

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Michael Thomson

Fascinating! That shrapnel ball certainly blends in and as you said, one has to know what to look for! 

 

What is the state of the fields in terms of crops in late April/early May? I've been in September and it seems that that was after the harvest so no crops in the fields just mud! 

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303man

Late Apr early May is usually to late unless a field is unplanted most new growth starts once temp is at a constant 7 degrees plus.  By Apr May weeds etc are pushing up. 

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chaz

our last visit was in December, I had never seen them before but the wife had picked a couple up over the few years before. After the ploughing and rains I glanced down and saw what I thought was a round pebble and found a ball. then on further looking a further 5 came into view. these were within half a metre from the footpath. we will be there around the same time as you, probably decorating with a couple of days escaping.

early you get to see corn , sometimes coloured red , laying on the surface just seeded, and later you see the corn stalks after harvest , in the middle a lot of growth gets in the way. in other fields sugar beet leaves can get in the way.

its the fine ploughing that shows up the small items. and the rain washes clean, they can get lost amongst  larger ploughing 

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Interested

How about:

"take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.

 

(Not sure about the "time" though, I'm sure I don't have much left to spare!)

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Don Regiano

Funny how the French don't seem to bother, judging by the buckets full of shrapnel balls, fuzes and spent shells they are trying to sell at their rederies, brocantes etc.

 

Yes, the dangers of unexploded ordnance is fairly obvious but shrapnel balls and even fuzes which litter the place ....

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voltaire60
30 minutes ago, Don Regiano said:

Yes, the dangers of unexploded ordnance is fairly obvious but shrapnel balls and even fuzes which litter the place

 

1)   Ordnance of any sort is hazardous.

2)  Brits have to come back through UK Customs with the stuff.

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Don Regiano
Just now, voltaire60 said:

 

1)   Ordnance of any sort is hazardous.

 

 

Really?  Like these?

 

 

DSC05495.JPG

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Ken Lees
1 hour ago, Don Regiano said:

 

Really?  Like these?

 

 

DSC05495.JPG

Yes, if you drop one on your toe! 

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Ex-boy
2 hours ago, Don Regiano said:

Funny how the French don't seem to bother, judging by the buckets full of shrapnel balls, fuzes and spent shells they are trying to sell at their rederies, brocantes etc.

 

Yes, the dangers of unexploded ordnance is fairly obvious but shrapnel balls and even fuzes which litter the place ....

A number of years ago, when our children were young, my family were driving through a French village in the Somme region and saw a collection of WW1 artefacts in a back garden. Having stopped to look, the owner invited us to look in his shed, which was a treasure-trove of anything and everything you can imagine, and most of it for sale. We purchased a shell cap and he gave each of my three children a brass webbing buckle free. The French certainly don't seem to worry about what they collect or sell on, so to my mind anything that is not dangerous, as long as it is just lying on the surface, is just asking to be picked up.

 

Steve.

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Michael Thomson

To be honest I'd be thrilled just to find a shrapnel ball or a button...there's something quite fascinating about the idea that the last time that item was used was during the fighting of 1916. 

 

Anything bigger/more dangerous quite frankly scares me.

 

 

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Don Regiano
3 hours ago, Ken Lees said:

Yes, if you drop one on your toe! 

 

Hadn't thought about that Ken - and you are quite right.  They were pretty heavy when I was checking to see if they were safe by lobbing them down the track from the Bazentin Windmill to Crucifix Corner  - well the soil inside them was pretty compacted dried Somme mud^_^^_^

 

The warnings about ordnance are very fair but I feel some is less worrying than others.  My policy is to err on the side of caution and I steer well clear of anything that looks potentially dangerous.  I'm not particularly a collector of the stuff, certainly compared to some of the stockpiles I have seen over there and, as I am over there pretty often, it is less of an attraction for me.

 

Reg

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Marilyne
On ‎02‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 21:05, keithmroberts said:

Can we be quite clear. handling unexploded munitions is a job for experts. By them I mean the French and Belgian military specialists who arrange safe disposal. The only advice to anyone is don't pick them up, don't  even touch them.

 

So right about that.

In Belgium, the DOVO at Poelkapelle must be the only unit who has not to fear about its future: it will certainly have enough work to do for the next 100 years, counting on what they still find... more than they can dismantle. Their work is absolutely fascinating!

as to the question in the thread: sometime you find someting, sometimes you don't... I'm amazed at the madness of people who go hunting for souvenirs and then try to manipulate the shells. Just photograph them and then report the find ! People seem to think that the things are harmless after all these years. Newsflash: they're not!

 

Stay safe, everybody !!

 

M.

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voltaire60
20 hours ago, Don Regiano said:

 

Really?  Like these?

 

 

DSC05495.JPG

 

 

      Yes- leave well alone. Unless your day job is that of an Inspecting Ordnance Officer.  Do you really not heed the warnings about handling ANY form of ordnance- or do you really have some sort of  wish to do without fingers,hands and eyes?

Edited by voltaire60

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Michelle Young
On 02/02/2019 at 20:05, keithmroberts said:

Can we be quite clear. handling unexploded munitions is a job for experts. By them I mean the French and Belgian military specialists who arrange safe disposal. The only advice to anyone is don't pick them up, don't  even touch them.

 

I have removed some comments and edited one and will now  re-open this thread, but please, no suggestions about safe handling or anything of the sort. Just don't.

 

 

Keith

GWF team

Can I just repeat what Keith said. No matter what individual members think and do, the forum does not condone handling of ordnance. 

Michelle

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Michael Thomson

I need both my arms and legs so I'll steer well clear of anything that may be 'live' and dangerous that's for sure. I'm pretty sure my insurance wouldn't take kindly to an explanation like "I was picking up a 102yr old live artillery shell when I lost my leg...now pay me out please!"

 

Physically handling ordnance is in my humble and inexperienced opinion something that I'd only feel happy letting the trained professionals do.

 

Since I was the original poster of the topic and my question has been very well answered (thanks everybody!), I'm happy for the thread to be closed if the moderators would like to do so.

Edited by Michael Thomson

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Ken Lees

Just a few of my recent photos from the Western Front

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DSC_1368.JPG

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depaor01

A lot of what looks like recently removed driving bands too :w00t:!

Nice pics.

Dave

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voltaire60

 And just one further reminder. Everything so far has concerned whether old ordnance might or might not damage humans a century on by exploding. So let's have a reminder that taking anything out of the soil along the Western Front is dangerous- for the residual chances of nasty infections from handling the stuff or the soil that comes with it. Lots of very unpleasant substances were used in the war-and still capable of being nasty after a century of maturing and degrading.

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Michelle Young

As the OP is in agreement, I wil, close this thread, I think it has run its course 

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