The Eleventh hour of the Eleventh Month

This month our meeting fell on the 11th November – Remembrance Day, and we remembered in a rather special way.

Martin Brown, Archaeologist for the MOD (Ministry of Defence), based on Salisbury Plain, invited us to join him in a tour of the First World War Training Trenches near Bulford, to see the place where so many young men learned about trench warfare before crossing the Channel to fight in France and Belgium. It was absolutely freezing but so interesting we hardly felt the cold!

We felt very sad and thoughtful as we stood for our minute’s silence at eleven o’clock. But it was good fun tracing the remains of the trenches on the side of the hill, and in some places they were still deep enough to hide in.

Martin told us about excavations he has been doing on First World War battlefields and we could all imagine how terrible it would have been to be living and fighting for real in trenches.

Before we left we laid flowers in some of the trenches and beside the Kiwi, a chalk figure carved on the hillside to commemorate the New Zealand soldiers who served in the war.

It was a rather special YAC meeting and we are very grateful to Martin for giving up his Saturday morning for us.

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