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Remembered Today:

dug out dug by 177 TC


Arne Vandendriessche
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Hello everyone,

                         

my name is Arne Vandendriessche.
I am 12 years old, I am very interested in WW1, I live in Proven, a part of Poperinge.
As a hobby I search with a metal detector.
In proven, there is a dug-out at the farm at gapaardstraat 2 close to the castle of the Lovie. That dug-out was dug by the 177th tunneling company. It was made to teach the English soldiers to dig tunnels. the 177 TC camp remained in Proven for two years, from August 14, 1915 to September 6, 1917.
There was a Mine listening school and a Mine Rescue School.
In the mining school they learned to listen with a geophone.
The courses were led by the Australian professor, Captain James Pollock. In the Mine Rescue School they learned to rescue tunnel diggers in distress. They did a rescue in Wijtschate 12 miners got stuck in a tunnel, it took 6 days
against getting to the miners. 11 had already died, except one, sapper Bedson, was still alive. The farm where everything happened was called zoom farm.
If any of you have maps, photos or documents from or about the tunnel or the camp, you can definitely email me. Me and someone else plan to expose the entrance. We already found a large metal chisel that they probably used to dig the tunnel. Here a site where I got most of the information I know. (http://www.wo1.be/nl/historic/gastbijdragen/militaire-en-burgerlijke-historical/een-mijnenveld-in-proven)
you can translate it into english because it is a dutch site.
If you find funny mistakes in this post, it is because I translate this from Dutch to English with google translate.

 

Arne

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Welcome to the Forum Arne, I cannot help you as this is out of my realm of information. I am sure someone will be along shortly to help you.

I wish you very good luck with your project.

 

Cheers

Peter

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There's another recent topic on training for tunneling. @Mick M may want to see your post.

TEW

 

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Hello Arne

 

I do not know your site at Proven but I attach a plan and a photo from our National Archives of the First Army Mines Rescue School which I think was near Armentieres. This may help you to understand what a mines school looked like. I am not an expert in WW1 tunnelling and sadly I do not have the reference for the pictures.  several years ago I was reading about instruction courses in mine warfare  that took place at Chatham in Kent which was the Royal Engineers headquarters. Good luck with your research.

 

Peter

 

image.png.1e734c056b11a34920061244e96851c5.png

 

image.png.9107231fca3901fa55d42730b24fbe0f.png

 

 

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Arne

I have the War Diary for 177 Tunnelling Co for 1916 (The National Archives reference WO 95/404/7 and WO 95/404/8). In May 1916 an experimental mine was started by men of the Australian Mining Corps. In WO 95/404/7 there is a plan of this experimental mine at Company HQ (p 58/167), a more detailed plan showing Listening Chambers and steps (p 71/167) , a sketch of a practice mine that was fired on 20/06/1916 at map reference F 20 d 7 1 (p 72/167) and another plan of the experimental mine, headed 2 Army Mine School, again showing Listening Chambers and steps to the surface (p 85/167).

The War Diary shows that the Company HQ was at F 21 d between Proven and Poperinge. I attach a part of a 1918 map sheet 27 NE showing F 20 and F 21 and the road from Proven to Poperinge on the 1:50 000 ieper 27-28-36. I will try to find a 1916 trench map of the area.

The rules of the Forum do not allow me to post the plans of the experimental mine but you can download the War Diaries from The National Archives.

Good luck and please be careful. Be sure to go with an adult. Do not go anywhere without telling someboby where you are going. Are you going as part of an organised party and do you have the permission of the landowner. We are very worried that a 12 year old boy wants to explore an old mine shaft.

Brian 

 

001.JPG

002.JPG

Edited by brianmorris547
typo
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Hi Brian.

 

Thank you very much for the explanation and the maps.
I will download the document.
I am looking with a man who has a lot of experience.
He himself already dug many tunnels.
When I find ammunition I always contact DOVO.

 

Greetings Arne

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Arne

Relieved to hear it.

The July 1916 War Diary also records that The Mine Rescue School was moved from 171 Tunnelling Company (who were in the Ploegsteert area) and started courses again on 24/07/1916.

Good luck

Brian

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