World War I archeology at Cannock Chase


Archaeologists plan to excavate a unique training area that was created on Cannock Chase in Staffordshire during World War I.

The site was based on Messines Ridge near Ypres and was used to help troops gain experience of conditions on the Western Front. It was constructed using aerial photographs taken in 1916.

During World War I, two training camps were created on Cannock Chase and more than 500,000 men from Britain and the Commonwealth would have been posted to them prior to heading off for the front.

Each camp was designed to accommodate an infantry division containing 20,000 men. When the war ended in 1918, the camps were dismantled, but Cannock Chase remains one of the most complete World War I archeological sites in the UK.

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