Perham Down WW1 Trenches 

  • By Richard Bennett
  • 02 Nov, 2016

Wessex Archaeology blog

Welcome To Breaking Ground Heritage

By Richard Bennett 20 Jun, 2016
No your eyes are not deceiving you, what you see here is the infamous James Holland, the incredible Peter Ginn, the irreplaceable Phil Harding and the infectious (in a good way) Richard Osgood all working at Sutton Mandeville for the day looking for evidence of First World War occupation on the site, of which we found plenty.

It is not everyday that you can say that you have worked with some of Britain's best! and we found an abundance of archaeological evidence to show that this site was inhabited during the First World War.


By Richard Bennett 20 Jun, 2016
The weekend of the 11th June saw me trundle off down to Surrey to help the amazing Andy Robertshaw construct some replica First World War trenches.

Why? (I hear you ask), after the experiences as a NOD and a young Marine in Iraq would you ever want to do that again? Well.. I have spent along time reading about the First World War and to be honest these trenches are a little more substantial then the slit trenches that we are all used to so I jumped at the chance to help build some in the original way (using a JCB to dig the trench obviously, I'm not that keen). We dug in the A frames, revetted the walls put in duck boards, constructed fire steps and placed the sandbags on the parapet.

This culminated in a BBQ and a good nights sleep on site before starting again the following morning and then being pinged to take part in a documentary on the Somme being filmed as a part of the Somme 100 anniversary (crate I know!).

All in all a hoofing event with some invaluable knowledge that I know will do me justice next time that I am on the Somme excavating the real thing.

Next time we will be building the dugout and even possibly a trench railway and if you would like to come and either join in or just watch then please visit www.breakinggroundheritage.org.uk and register of visit our Facebook page.
By Richard Bennett 31 May, 2016
Bank holiday Monday saw BGH invited to the Museum of Army Flyings Wartime Wallop open day. We rocked up early on an overcast morning and set up our stall, the gazebo, the new BGH banner a Krypton factor challenge in itself (for you older readers), then the now famous excavation pit for the kids and adults alike.

We had some wonderful artefacts on display from Chisenbury midden along side some Bronze Age artefacts.

We also had the chance to display some amazing First World War kit and equipment as well as the Lee Enfield SMLE (thank you for the loan Richard O).

So why did we go?
Apart from the chance of a free day out at a venue with Apache helicopters and an airshow,  WW2 re-enactors firing contemporary artillery pieces and an opportunity to promote BGH. 
We have boosted our membership to personnel (Veterans and Serving) that would otherwise not have known about who we are and what we do, we also made some great contacts with other organisations that would love to help out with future BGH projects.

I would like to thank Katie and David for coming along at this ungodly hour on a bank holiday, you really did do us proud. 
By Richard Bennett 28 May, 2016
BGH has hit the ground running and is about to take off into a whole new league. What was supposed to be a slow and steady startup prior to the summer nearly overwhelmed the staff here at BGH HQ. 

BGH is now in the enviable position to be able to provide a premium service to our community, WIS are able to join safe in the knowledge that we have the experience and expertise in dealing with disabilities in archaeology and if we don't know the answer we know a group that do Enabled .  

Veterans, serving personnel and spouses can come along to our projects with the confidence that whatever work they undertake on site will be supervised by some of Britain's premier archaeologists and recorded using the industry recognised Skills Passport so that they can go along to other projects and evidence what they have done to date.

We are building up some valuable connections within the archaeology and heritage community that are willing to provide work placements for the right candidates should they wish to pursue archaeology or heritage as a new career?  

Service charities such as Civvy Street, Care for Casualties,  BLESMA, RAFA, Blind Veterans UK, Step Together Volunteering, SouthWest Veterans and the Defence Medical Welfare Service are all signposting their members to us if they have any interest in history, archaeology or heritage in general and we are  also working closely with Help for Heroes to see how we can develop further as a project.

To sum things up we are in a very healthy position at the moment and we are getting stronger. We have recently received our Community Incorporated Company Status (C.I.C) which now makes us official.

What next?

We will be displaying some of our recent project finds at Wartime Wallop on Monday the 30th May and recruiting for projects coming up in the summer. If you are in the area pop in and say hello.

We are always looking for professional support in almost any capacity so if you are reading this and thin that you may be able to assist us then please register on our website . If you are a part of the military community and want to get involved in what we do get on the registration page and sign up to!

My final words today..... 

The support from the archaeological community has been unbelievable. Wessex Archaeology has been our rock during the daunting startup phase lending support and experience whenever we have needed it. Past Horizons has been instrumental by supplying us with our equipment and the mighty BAJR has come on board and is lending us support where we need it an finally, Export and General Insurance Services Ltd have given our project life by providing cover for our members when on site an essential service!  

Thank you all for your support.

Dickie.


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