Tuesday, September 7, 2010

History in the back garden

Plumber David Murray (pictured) was digging in his backyard in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, U.K., when the sun reflected off a small object sticking up out of the ground. It was a German dog tag. Less than an hour later he had unearthed bottles, boot polish, uniform buttons, coins, pistol and rifle ammunition, and a grenade. As it turns out, he is living on the former site of a prisoner of war camp that housed 10,000 German troops during World War II. The 40-acre Wynches Camp opened in 1939, was occupied until 1947, and was torn down c. 1950. It held German and Italian soldiers, in addition to serving as an Allied training camp. Armed with a metal detector, David has now recovered more than 2,000 artifacts from 6 pits in his landlord's yard - and believes it could take years of further digging before the camp is fully exposed. He has enlisted the help of a local historian to research the camp and publish their findings. "It was a huge shock....I’ve been storing all of the items in my shed but it’s getting very full....It’s really incredible to think that 70 years 10,000 prisoners of war were walking around in my back garden,” says David. If he wanted to save himself the trouble, he could have just purchased a POW camp on eBay!

1 comment:

  1. Its great that this was found, but I find myself cringing at the fact that he took all those things out without keeping record, proper photo documentation etc.

    Atleast the local historians have been contacted. 70 years might not be that old, but it sure needs some proper authorities to help!

    Oh and its dangerous if he unearthed a grenade and ammunition! 0_o


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