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Remembered Today:

Haucourt and Cagnicourt workings


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Here's a translation (courtesy of Google Translate) for those like me who are francophone-challenged:

'A decontamination operation is underway between Haucourt and Cagnicourt (Pas-de-Calais), Wednesday, November 10, 2021. A mandatory step before the construction of a farm of 11 wind turbines by the company Valeco and which made it possible to unearth more than 800 World War I shells since July.

Armed with a metal detector, Grégory scans every square inch of a field in Cagnicourt (Pas-de-Calais). When a shrill "beep" sounds, it marks the earth with an orange dot. A few inches below his feet may be a shell, ammunition, or a vestige of World War I.

Grégory is a site manager for the Cardem company, a specialist in soil remediation. Wednesday, November 10, he begins the last plot of 5,000 square meters, where a wind turbine will stand in a few months. Since July, Cardem teams have unearthed more than 800 shells and a thousand ammunition, between the towns of Cagnicourt and Haucourt.

Lots of precautions

It is with caution that his colleague Aymeric digs with a shovel or a spade: "There must be trust between Grégory and me while I dig, I follow his instructions, I go slowly, layer by layer." Because if the desire to unearth a possible object of war is present, it is above all the spirit of responsibility which animates them.

We still do security, we do not go free! We make sure to go home at night!

A pile of rusty scrap gives an account of their findings. "There is undoubtedly a remnant of trenches, perhaps a firing station, describes Grégory. A few shrapnel and that is an English warhead." In all, a dozen objects or pieces of sheet metal: "It's not a lot", he estimates. On some sites, he was able to unearth up to tens of thousands of weapons.

Another 700 years to unearth it all

Sometimes it is even the bodies of soldiers that they find and this remains Grégory's strongest memory. “On the site of the Lens hospital, in Loos-en-Gohelle, we came across six Scottish soldiers. It was very impressive, with their purses or coats of arms which are near them. is happy to be able to participate in the research to find descendants. "

It's always satisfying to move the story forward

For the Cagnicourt-Haucourt site, the company Valeco which builds the wind turbines paid 500,000 euros. Most of the found objects are collected by another specialized company which processes them and then destroys them. There are many in this area because the area was occupied as early as October 1914 and found itself on the front line between the Allied forces and the German army.

Philippe Dubus, the mayor of Haucourt, is used to these clean-up operations which he likes to follow: "According to studies, we still have 700 years to go back to everything. We are used to these procedures, we take our precautions. " His ambition: to keep some well-maintained remains to one day put them on display in his town.'

From 'https://www.francebleu.fr/infos/culture-loisirs/plus-de-800-obus-deterres-entre-haucourt-et-cagnicourt-dans-une-operation-de-depollution-1636562695'


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