WW1 digs

#1
Is it still possible to dig up and find bits from WW1 battles? I mean, do I need permission to dig?

I am thinking to visit Ypres and other places to try and find bits and pieces.

Grateful for any help!
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#2
Bigdumps said:
Is it still possible to dig up and find bits from WW1 battles? I mean, do I need permission to dig?

I am thinking to visit Ypres and other places to try and find bits and pieces.

Grateful for any help!
My back garden in Alsace needs digging - you have my permission!

Joking aside, the Vosges front is totally overgrown and largely unexplored. I am trying to uncover documentation in French and German without much success for WW1. For WW2 there is some septic information, but no German.
There is tons of metal sticking out of the ground in the forests and hills, most car boot sales would be interesting to militaria collectors too.
 
#3
Bigdumps said:
Is it still possible to dig up and find bits from WW1 battles? I mean, do I need permission to dig?

Personally, i would be more considerate than stating that i want to just "dig bits up", a lot of people died over there, just throwing spades at them is highly disrespectful, i believe.
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#5
SparkySteve said:
Bigdumps said:
Is it still possible to dig up and find bits from WW1 battles? I mean, do I need permission to dig?

Personally, i would be more considerate than stating that i want to just "dig bits up", a lot of people died over there, just throwing spades at them is highly disrespectful, i believe.
A hiker found a French army boot in the local forest a couple of years ago - complete with foot....
 
#8
Bigdumps said:
Sparkysteve,

Do you think the bodies are still there? I woudnt be so keen to find a skeleton in uniform.
For someone who claims to be "interested in WW1" your very un-informed, either that or some sort of disrespectful twat, or someone on the wind up.

Leave the fallen be, there is no need to disturb them 90 years after the event, just to see if you can sell on their bones.
 
#9
I can state unequivocally that all bodies from WW1 and WW2 have now been dug up. I can also state that then remains of WW! and WW2 soldiers discovered almost every week somewhere on the France/Belgium border are a figment of someones imagination.
What a fcuknig question.
 
#10
Craftsman,

That is exactly what I thought. I would have believed it rather odd for bodies to still be there.

Steve, keep your bonnet on eh? I was being flippant.

Oh yes, I was being a mong! albeit, unintended.
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#12
Bigdumps said:
Craftsman,

That is exactly what I thought. I would have believed it rather odd for bodies to still be there.

Steve, keep your bonnet on eh? I was being flippant.
Don't forget there are an awful lot "missing in action" at every WW1 battlefield.....
 
#13
Ha, sorry steve.

But still, I see your point about it being disrespectful, and the last thing I want to do is to cause any upset on this issue.

I mean, I want to explore the battlefields and if I find something then great I thank you for bringing up the ethical problem, it really didnt occur to me.
 
#15
Steve, I completely agree, to be fair, I suppose I was hoping to find bits of shrapnel, maybe a few bullets etc

And I would never, ever even consider selling on any finds, that is truly nauseating.

Alsacien, are you offering me a free holiday in exchange for a bit of digging :lol:
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#16
Bigdumps said:
Steve, I completely agree, to be fair, I suppose I was hoping to find bits of shrapnel, maybe a few bullets etc

And I would never, ever even consider selling on any finds, that is truly nauseating.

Alsacien, are you offering me a free holiday in exchange for a bit of digging :lol:
217 tree stumps is more than a little bit of digging :wink:
 
#17
Bigdumps said:
Steve, I completely agree, to be fair, I suppose I was hoping to find bits of shrapnel, maybe a few bullets etc

Unfortunately, given the nature of the conflict, if your are going to find shrapnel, you are most likely going to be finding over things as well.

Archeology is a very intersting subject, but i personally believe that it is too soon for WW1 to be considered.
It's still in living memory.
 
#18
SparkySteve said:
Bigdumps said:
Steve, I completely agree, to be fair, I suppose I was hoping to find bits of shrapnel, maybe a few bullets etc

Unfortunately, given the nature of the conflict, if your are going to find shrapnel, you are most likely going to be finding over things as well.

Archeology is a very intersting subject, but i personally believe that it is too soon for WW1 to be considered.
It's still in living memory.
I do believe there are regular proper archeological digs carried out especially in areas where development is planned. One of the positive outcomes is that from time to time they do find remains and are able to often identify them so solving another 'misssing' problem. Also it is now getting to the time when we perhaps need more done to be able to show those who have no contact with those who fought there just what it was like.
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#19
SparkySteve said:
Just touchy is all, the fallen should stay so, they are at peace now.
Its a fair point Steve, but some of the excavations in France/Belguim have found and identified remains, resulting in proper burials and closure for relatives.
I think it depends on the attitude, approach and respect of the person doing the digging.
I have found human remains while conducting deep mixed gas dives on wrecks. I never touch or take anything "human" and treat it like visiting a graveyard. I have recovered various things at times in a formal manner and done extensive filming. On 2 occasions this has resulted in a wreck being declared a war grave (one German one Italian) which I see as an honourable achievement.
 
#20
There are some 50,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers from the 1916 campaign on the Somme alone who have no known grave. So if you chuck your metal detector down at random somewhere along the 14 mile front of the 1916 battle then it is highly likely that you might find remains of our ancestral comrades in arms.

However if we are really lucky bigdumps, then you will instead find a whizzbang which has just matured nicely and will blow you to pieces. Or you could just take yourself outside, think about what a cnut you are being and rethink your whole digging up militaria on the Western Front, 2007 strategy.

If you find this unpalatable advice, I suggest you just go ahead willy nilly. I would think you would be bound to find something in the area of Beaumont Hamel given the concentration of fighting there - perhaps you could have a go in mid-november? Preferably after the Newfoundland Rugby Union commemorative pilgrimage bus has just rolled up??
 

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