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Archaeologists are to reveal the secrets of Belton’s Machine Gun Corps

By Kim Morrison

The geophysical survey
The geophysical survey

Lest We Forget Belton’s Bravest is a Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots project that has seen budding young historians and archaeologists volunteering their time throughout 2015 to find out more about the legacy of the Machine Gun Corps training camp based at Belton 100 years ago.

In addition to a considerable amount of original research, an archaeological dig was carried out over the summer, and throughout November the young people will be leading their own Remembrance Walks inspired by their experiences.

Planning the Remembrance walks
Planning the Remembrance walks

Having been working on this project for almost a year, every member of the team has found out more about life in the camp, the technical skills and know-how required of a machine gunner, and gained first-hand experience of conducting archaeological surveys and digs.

More profoundly though, they have read the accounts, scanned the photos and discovered the experiences of the young men that walked on the parkland 100 years ago, as they have in 2015.

The young people have written their remembrance pieces for the walk and one member wrote: ‘This mud is the same mud from 1915. I know there were young people here. I found the heavy lifting and manual labour difficult enough on the dig. I can only imagine how people not much older than me would have coped with the military training.’

Their Remembrance Walks will focus on remembering those who trained at the camp as well as their own experiences at Belton throughout the year, what they have learned, and how they hope that their work has and will continue to commemorate Belton’s bravest.

The free walks will take place on November 7: 10.30-12.00 & 13.00-14.30; November 8: 13.00-14.30; November 14: 10.30-12.00 & 13.00-14.30; November 15: 10.30-12.00 & 13.00-14.30; November 21: 10.30-12.00 & 13.00-14.30; November 22: 10.30-12.00 & 13.00-14.30.

Call 01476 566116 to book a place.


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