Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk31_Lochnagar-Crater-Pt-2

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Week-31

Lochnagar Crater

 Part 2.

Part 1: Lochnagar Crater

Part 2 The Moles of Lochnagar

Part 3: The Women of The Great War

Part 4: Being Involved

 

Last week I mentioned memorials within

the Lochnagar Crater memorial

By now these poppy wreaths were

becoming all too common, however…

the sentiments behind each and every wreath was the same,

a heartfelt thank you and we will remember!

 

It would seem that ‘The Moles’ would refer to those

inside the 1,000 foot long tunnel.

In fact on-line research claims 18 Manchester sewer workers,

many over 40 years of age and with an average height

of about 5’4″ (average army requirement 5’8″) changed the War.

They were the founding members of the

170 (Tunnelling) Company, Royal Engineers.

Their work was the beginning of more than

3,000 miles of tunnels in

France, Belgium and Gallipoli.

While all hell raged above ground they tunnelled

silently below ground waging a secret warfare of their own.

Working in fetid air, cramped and wet conditions and with only

a candle to indicate if there was enough oxygen to breathe

they listened intently for signs, or sounds,

of the German army tunnelling towards them.

We were told that the German tunnellers were

only 5 feet away although I cannot verify that.

After the 27,000 tons of explosives were detonated

a 300 feet wide hole in the ground now known

 as Lochnagar Crater was all that was left behind.

Harry Fellows was a survivor of Lochnagar….

 

More can be read about Harry by clicking this link.

The final memorial is to Private George Nugent.  

When I took this image I either did not read, highly likely,

I took a close up of the plaque, or had forgotten his story.

 

On the far side of the Crater a tourist,

(Mr Drage of Colchester), while visiting Lochnagar,

actually discovered what appeared to be

a body emerging from the chalk about 10 metres

from the edge of the crater, in 1998.

Private Nugent’s remains were exhumed and

subsequently interred Ovillers Military Cemetery

on July 1st, 2000, exactly 84 years to the day

after he was reported as missing in action.

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