WWI’s Pompeii

Soldiers prepare to bury two coffins at Wytschaete military cemetery, near Ypres, Belgium. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA

First World War’s Pompeii: Burial for British Soldiers Found in Flemish Field

Daniel Boffey /The Guardian

The plot of land – little bigger than two football pitches – has been described as “the first world war’s Pompeii”. But many of the secrets of those who fought and died on this Flemish field are still destined never to be told.

At 11am on Thursday, the burial of 13 British and Commonwealth soldiers at Wytschaete military cemetery near Ypres brought to a close a nearby archaeological dig responsible for uncovering the remains of 110 men, an intricate web of trenches and tunnels, and arguably the most comprehensive snapshot of the changing fortunes and horror of the 1914-1918 war.

The plot in question, on the edge of the village of Wytschaete, close to the cemetery, repeatedly changed hands through the war and the misshapen jagged land left behind, unusable by farmer or urban planner, meant that archaeologists benefited from it being largely untouched when they arrived in 2018.

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  1. Another great American has passed away Carol, Benton Bradberry who wrote the book, “The Myth of German Villainy” and by coincident a copy has just this morning arrived on my doorstep.

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