Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

cdr

Remains of 19 soldiers found

Recommended Posts

cdr

http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws/regio/westvlaanderen/1.2629496

just saw this on a Belgian newssite

The remains of 19 soldiers were found near Langemark Poelkapelle. According to the archaeologist in charge there are both British and German bodies who would date from 1915.

The text talks of an area where Canadians fought;

Apparently they also found an intact Roman burial :huh:

Carl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MelPack

Carl

Thanks for posting.

Here is a google translation:

Archaeological work in Poelkapelle have found 19 bodies of soldiers from the First World War. The bodies were found during archaeological research in an area where a gas pipeline coming soon Fluxys. In addition, Roman remains have also been found.

The company Fluxys built over a length of 74 km in 2014 and 2015, a gas pipeline running from Alveringem to Maldegem. In March this year, the launch company went to work for a branch of some 7 km long between Houthulst and Poelkapelle. In this part are archaeological work in progress. In addition, there were 19 corpses of fallen soldiers were found. Also, there were trenches, shelters and bomb craters discovered.

The remains found there are 14 Canadians in an area where in April 1915 committed the attack on the German lines. In just one day alone there were then 230 Allied soldiers missing one regiment.

"Around this we found another 5 different people," says Jan Decorte of the intermunicipal archaeological cell CO7. "These are soldiers who died in 1915, shortly after the first gas attacks. It certainly is already two Britons and two Germans. We have nine bodies suspect that it also involves British, but the investigation has only just started. "

"Unique Roman tomb found"

In addition to the war victims are also found remains from the Roman period. As a Roman tomb was uncovered (see picture below). "What's unique about that grave, that we found so many full Roman pots. Usually we find one or two. Here we have 15 found. That is very special. We also found a bronze object, perhaps a mirror . In all likelihood, therefore, was an important person, "said Decorte.

Archaeologists now have 30 days to carry out further research before the remains are handed over to the police. Then the countries concerned are also informed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
laughton

That is quite a distance north if there were Canadians found?

I was looking at some remains in that area yesterday so you can use this map:

http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo%3A3987/-/collection

Houthulst is at 20.P.13.a.8.8 (GPS = 50.9782, 2.9505) and Poelcappelle is at 20.V.20.a.1.9. or 20.V.19.b.5.2 (GPS = 50.9179, 2.9576).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dannyboy1807

incredible that along side this poor men that they also found a roman burial from thousands of years before that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trajan

Well, certainly a Warwickshire badge! As for the Roman stuff, well, that area is full of settlements and burials. For what it is worth - for the interested :thumbsup: - there is what looks to be a terra sigillata form Dr.18/31 or Dr.31 platter in that group and if so, so probably very late 1st - early/mid 2nd century AD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MelPack

Trajan

Do we know which Legion was fighting in the area at the time? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeyH

The video also features the remains of a Lee Enfield and a British boot.

Mike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Khaki

The Roman grave may be a civilian (pots & mirror) may even be female?

khaki

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trajan

Do we know which Legion was fighting in the area at the time? :)

Ahem, yes, but better not go down that path...

The video also features the remains of a Lee Enfield and a British boot.

Indeed - and all credit to what is clearly a very competent piece of excavation!

The Roman grave may be a civilian (pots & mirror) may even be female?

Yes, could well be - it would be nice to know more!

BUT, back on topic. When I was working (archaeologically) on the Luneberger Heide many moons ago we had the same kind of soil to work through. Allows for excellent and careful excavation, although that kind of sandy soil can be bad for preserving bones (but not teeth, which usually do survive the most acidic conditions!). What is so much more interesting and enjoyable to me is to see the close collaboration evidenced here between developers and archaeologists.

Trajan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seadog

Trajan I am glad that you have highlighted the most important aspect of this particular instance in that the archaeologists are now officially involved certainly here in Belgium when major civil works are undertaken, things have come a long way since the Boezinge site was excavated by the unofficial "The Diggers" group who did a great job in finding the remains of over 200 soldiers, sadly none of which was identified by name. The other great advance in dealing with the discovered fallen is in the case of the British MOD with the additional resources now allocated to these historical cases plus the accepted use of DNA profiling when circumstances permit. All of these improvements will undoubtedly result in a greater likelihood of identification than was ever possible in the past.

N

Flickr

https://www.flickr.com/photos/glosters/26349290592/in/photostream/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ph0ebus

I look forward to following this developing story with great interest. Thanks for sharing it!

Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ATNOMIS

Great story. In from the Cold. RIP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Robert Missinne

I'm following the archeologists from nearby...

Two days ago (the day before the reportage above), there where found on that moment 14 human remains in the area between Mouse Trap Farm and Kitchener's Wood:

  • 1 German
  • 3 who couldn't be identified as German or Allied
  • 10 as 'British', of whom one belonging to the Royal Warwickshire regiment, possibly an officer.

Most remains are dispersed, because the archeologists are still in the 'plower'-layer (first 30 cm).

The research in the real archeological layer has still to start, so I expect more finds deeper.

The Roman (inmportant) burial finds where found a few kilometers to the north.

Robert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trajan

I'm following the archeologists from nearby...

Thanks for the update Robert. I had assumed that the Roman grave was somewhere distant from the GW buas there was no sign in the photographs of the GW burials being nearby.

Thanks also for confirming the badge as being Warwicks. Of course, all here on GWForum are relying on the newspaper report, but can you tell us more? For example, are they burials in a shell hole or a trench or separate graves?

Trajan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Robert Missinne

When I was there two days ago (under strict supervision of the Fluxys-people and the head of the archeologists), they were 'lifting' the remains of two persons who lay above each other what seemed to me 'as fallen on the battlefield' in what appeared to be a shellhole or at least buried 'without ceremony', read: thrown in a shellhole. There where founds of 3 soldier-equipments, so it was possible that there was a third remain below the two. I have no confirmation for this until now.

I was told that the other found remains were mostly dispersed by the plowings of the farmers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trajan

... I was told that the other found remains were mostly dispersed by the plowings of the farmers.

Given the shallowness of the 'topsoil' at the site that sounds as usual. I once worked on an Anglo-Saxon cremation cemetery site in Lincolnshire that was revealed by the plough cutting into the graves - and that was shallow, not deep ploughing. Thanks for the up date though!

Trajan I am glad that you have highlighted the most important aspect of this particular instance in that the archaeologists are now officially involved certainly here in Belgium when major civil works are undertaken ...

Seadog. This one, being a pipe-line project, then it is usual - even in Turkey! - to have a preliminary survey to see what 'might be there' and then to have archaeologists on a watching brief as work progresses. I spent a whole year on the M5 in Somerset on this type of work! These days, then on such projects EU standards usually apply - i.e., assessment of environmental impact, which includes archaeology - beforehand. I suspect in this case that the guys involved were well aware of the potential of GW-related discoveries. I am not certain, though, if same laws/regulations apply universally in the EU to individual planning developments. So the graves that are discovered in those types of projects and - it seems - not usually properly examined or recorded during exhumation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Robert Missinne

I can confirm that the archeological research is done in a professional way by professional archeologists under supervision of an archeologist of the local government.

I was told that 4 different firms of archeologists have made a temporary collaboration because of the big surface wich has to be dig up.

I only can hope that the site will not be visited by battlefield scavengers...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seadog

This is a massive construction undertaking and I bet that these finds will not be the last. Here is an image and a page link (In Flemish) which does not describe the location or items in the image although you will be able to ID some with no problem. I am assuming that I have the right construction.

Archaeological research on the way in Staden, Hooglede and Lichtervelde

26464355135_fa0f5b8c4c_z.jpg

Link

http://ww.bienet.be/nieuws/2014/fluxys-aardgasleiding-doorkruist-bie-region

What is the route of the pipeline?

The new pipeline shall be approximately 74 kilometres long, stretching from Alveringem, through Poperinge, Vleteren, Lo-Reninge, Ypres, Langemark-Poelkapelle, Houthulst, Staden, Hooglede, Kortemark, Torhout, Lichtervelde, Oostkamp and Beernem to Maldegem. A seven-kilometre pipeline branch beginning in Houthulst and running through Langemark-Poelkapelle will supply the Ypres area. In Lichtervelde, the new pipeline will be connected to the existing Fluxys grid to shore up the supply in West Flanders, while in Maldegem it will link up with the Zeebrugge area. Fluxys will also build the required surface facilities in the municipalities of Alveringem, Langemark-Poelkapelle, Vleteren, Hooglede, Oostkamp, Houthulst, Lichtervelde and Maldegem.

Can anyone post a detailed route of the pipeline or a link to one??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ralphjd

You can say that again Robert.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bert Heyvaert

Hello all,

I am on the excavation team and can confirm that everything is done to the same high standards as professional archaeology elsewhere in Flanders. We are not on standby till something is found, but are going in now for survey and excavation well before the work on the pipeline starts. Furthermore I can confirm Robert's ealier posts. As said in the press release, 2 soldiers have been identified as members of the 1st Royal Warwickshires who died on 25/4/1915: 1 officier and 1 other rank.

regards,

Bert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MelPack

Bert

Many thanks for your post and the 'hard' information about the Royal Warks recoveries.

I am sure that everyone who reads your post wishes you and your colleagues every success with your endeavours including the recording of the ancient archaeology. But before the inevitable clamour arises concerning the recovery of WW1 remains and their identification, there should be a degree of sobriety.

It is worth pointing out that the 1st Warks had over 200 fatalities on 25 April 1915 of which 192 are commemorated on the Menin Gate of which nine are officers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
laughton

In addition to the Mitochondrial DNA testing the "Stable Isotope Profiling" has proven effective.

http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/dc-tc/ci-idp-eng.asp

It was important in the case of the Hallu 8, the latest of the Canadian investigations.

This Belgian find is fascinating!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bert Heyvaert

As MelPack allready pointed out, it is the firm believe of the project's directors that the release of information on the finding of human remains needs to be handled with great care. This goes for the other finds on this extensive site as well. This is to protect the project from visitors with not so noble intentions. However, as information is officially released I will make sure that it appears on the forum. Thank you all for the interest in this fascinating project.

regards,

Bert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×