Day 2: April 6th.

As today was a Sunday, we had the morning off but spent the afternoon measuring and recording the remains of what has been identified as the latrine block of the camp – the only structure still standing. While Michael Ginns’ photo of this structure (2006, 77), taken in 1994, shows a one-room structure, we think we can see evidence for 3 small rooms, but quite what each one was, we cannot say. Perhaps they were latrines, showers and something else? Toilet cubicles? All that is there now is brambles and trees and we emerged covered in fresh scratches and stings on scalps, arms and legs. Without excavation and geophysical survey, we cannot say more. The structure is outside the area that we have permission to survey and excavate, so all we were able to do was to get out the tape measure and collect clues from the topography of the ground.

The other task for this afternoon was to strip one face of the northern concrete entrance post of the camp. This satisfyingly revealed 6 double rows of barbed wire, which surely is conclusive evidence that the camp was surrounded in barbed wire, which is in contradiction to the oral testimony that I have already collected. We also recorded another 5 metal posts by the side of the camp (which I had spotted and recorded in 2012), some of which were recycled railway sleeper posts, and each of these had fragments of barbed wire attached to them. If we know that the history of the site included a forced labour camp, then a field for grazing cows, and then the parish rubbish dump, and that one of these phases of history involved the site being surrounded by barbed wire, then we can guess which phase this dates to.

Finally, I have identified a photograph from 1970 which shows the (still standing) telegraph pole and insulators referred to in yesterday’s blog post. So we know that it was still up in 1970. But when was it erected? The insulators show the maker’s logo on them but no date.

Imagela

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About Gilly Carr

I am a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Continuing Education. I work in the field of conflict archaeology and POW archaeology, and my fieldwork is based in the Channel Islands.

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