Welsh castle reveals WW1 secrets

LRB

Troops undergo training in trench warfare techniques, 1915 (IWM)

A range of artefacts from the First World War have been unearthed during a development project at Bodelwyddan Castle in north Wales.

Among the items unearthed are wooden duck-boards, .303 rifle cartridges and a uniform button which appears to be from a Canadian unit.

Practice trenches

The castle itself was used as a hospital during the First World War, but the grounds became a trench warfare training area for troops from the nearby Kinmel Camp.

Richard Cooke, senior archaeologist at Aeon Archaeology, told the Rhyl Journal: “This is the first time these World War I practice trenches have been investigated so extensively and they have given us an exciting window into this most fascinating part of our past.

“The work has shown that, despite ploughing, the bases of the trenches survive well and that they were not being excavated to full depth, but rather would have been reinforced with the addition of sandbags and upcast soil.”

Mr Cooke added: “Other finds include the butt of a flare cartridge showing that they were practicing night-signalling, as well as the priming cap from an artillery shell, suggesting that field artillery guns were also being used at the site.”

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