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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

The current dig at Thiepval

Steve Edge

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Does anyone have any information about the 'archealogical' dig that is taking place at Theipval Wood?. My Grandfather has no known grave but my research has shown that his body was recovered form the battlefield and buried with comrades at the rear of Theipval Wood. There is no record of his body being recoverd and identified after the war ended.

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I believe this is the Somme Assoiation again with the Royal irish Regt.


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The Somme Association and No-Mans-Land have no further digs planned until later in the year. The Association will as Desmond pointed out be doing some tidying up in Thiepval Wood, with the assistance of The Royal Irish Regiment, in late August but no digging of trenches.

I would also like to take this opportunity to point out that Thiepval Wood is a private wood and not open to the public. The Somme Association has had a lot of problems with people thinking that they can go walking in the wood unaccompanied. We will with pior arrangment through the Ulster Tower give groups a guided tour in the wood but this can only take place if time permitts and it suits the staff at the Tower. The wood is a working wood and full of wildlife which are being disturbed by these intrusions. Also the local French hunting club still has the rights to hunt in the wood and the Association has agreed certain areas, with them, that we will stay out of and they will inform us when they are hunting. People just going walking in the wood are upsetting this balance.

Worst still is the fact that the Somme Association as mentioned on the forum last year, are trying to excavate some of the trenches so we can open them to the public in the future. We are trying to accomplish this as naturally as possible. After the first dig we back filled all work that had been carried out but on the second dig we decided to leave a couple of the trenches open firstly to see how they would survive the weather and secondly to let the groups that I mentioned above view them but this sadly is proving to have been the wrong decision as a few individuals have seen it as a chance to go digging for themselves and have destroyed some of the natural trench walls. Of course they are looking for artefacts that they can sell or trade not preserve the history of Thiepval Wood and the memory of the men. The Association is strongly thinking about filling the trenches all in again and sadly this would put an end to any guided tours for the foreseeable furture. So I am asking all forums members to please pass the word that Thiepval Wood is not open to the public yet.

Carol Walker

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