Virtual tour 10 - Archeological founds

Many British and German underground structures have been investigated since the 1980s. The best known is possibly the now disappeared "Bremen Redoubt" at the brickyard of Zonnebeke and Zonnebeke Church Dugout, near the museum. The latter was built under the then church ruin of Zonnebeke between November 1917 and April 1918 by the 1st Australian, 1st Canadian and 171st and 254th British Tunneling Companies. Deep dugouts are often under water today, which means that many objects from the First World War have been well preserved.

Object 1: Lieslaarzen (MZ 02426)

This pair of British waders was found in Zonnebeke Church Dugout. This construction was discovered by archaeologists in 1989. The underground construction turned out to be one of the best preserved dugouts in the region, because the complex is protected by the heavy church foundations and is constantly under water. Zonnebeke Church dugout consists of a main gallery of approximately 30 meters (32 yards) long.


Object 2: drinking bottle (MZ 01517)

This German galvanized drinking bottle "Feldflasche M 1915" was found in 1915 in the German underground shelter Hoge Mote in Merkem. The object reminds us that, although underground enclosures were not very comfortable for soldiers, dugouts were at least a safe haven where everyday front life continued as usual. (MMP1917, MZ 01517)


Object 3: Bandoleer (MZ 02014)

This British bandoleer P-03, a belt containing ammunition, was found in 1992 in Yorkshire Trench Dugout in Boezinge. (MMP1917, MZ 02014)