Background

In 2015 a team of archaeologists discovered a well-preserved German strongpoint at a ridge top known as 'Hill 80' near the village of Wijtschate or ‘Whitesheet’.

What they had stumbled upon was unique; a piece of the formidable trench fortress that had remained virtually untouched since the end of the war. Farm buildings had been incorporated into the defensive trench system to create an almost impregnable redoubt that was only taken in June 1917, in the Battle of Messines.

When the guns fell silent, the battlefront was forgotten, covered with the earth and that preserved it intact. As they dug, the archaeologists were amazed to find well-preserved and very deep German trenches. Poignantly, they encountered the remains of soldiers were also found as they fell, both British and German, testimony to the ferocity of the fighting here.

In 2015 a team of archaeologists discovered a well-preserved German strongpoint at a ridge top known as 'Hill 80' near the village of Wijtschate or ‘Whitesheet’.

What they had stumbled upon was unique; a piece of the formidable trench fortress that had remained virtually untouched since the end of the war. Farm buildings had been incorporated into the defensive trench system to create an almost impregnable redoubt that was only taken in June 1917, in the Battle of Messines.

When the guns fell silent, the battlefront was forgotten, covered with the earth and that preserved it intact. As they dug, the archaeologists were amazed to find well-preserved and very deep German trenches. Poignantly, they encountered the remains of soldiers were also found as they fell, both British and German, testimony to the ferocity of the fighting here.