Saturday, 7 September 2013

Saturday on site

After the down pours of Friday, we were happy to wake to blue skies and bright sunshine. Members of No Man's Land,  Staffordshire County Council and our first volunteers met at the site for an introduction to the model and an overview of the military history of the Chase and the Battle of Messines.
Once orientated we moved inside the fenced area and began the task of revealing the terrain model, starting with the area previously excavated in 2006. Beneath the protective covering the model was in good condition and a small group supervised by Jon were quickly engaged in cleaning the miniature trenches.

The second group began work in the centre of the site, taking over the long trench opened last week. This trench centres on the cross roads of Messines and in comparing the model buildings to the 1916 trench map those of us who regularly stay in the town soon felt at home.

It must be remembered that the town was reduced to rubble in the opening bombardment of the Battle in June 1917 and the buildings we know so well were rebuilt on the original plots in the 1920s mostly in the same styles. As we revealed the concrete model buildings it became obvious that the model depicted the town in ruins, with fragments of brick representing shell damaged roofs.

The question is, what date does the model depict?

If you would like to join us, there are still volunteer places available, please email for further details.

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