Jump to content

Vampyr dugout


Recommended Posts

The Vampire dugout (known locally in Belgium as the Vampyr dugout), was a First World War underground brigade headquarters, located near the Belgian village of Zonnebeke. It was created 14 metres (46 ft) below Flanders by the 171 Tunnelling Company of the Corps of Royal Engineers,after the Third Battle of Ypres/Battle of Passchendaele. Rediscovered in 2007, it was the subject of a 2008 British television programme in the Channel 4 Time Team series, also shown on the Science Channel in the United States. The dugout, inaccessible to the public as it is located on private property, is inspected every year by the local battlefield historical society.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shame that the archaeologists never had time or resource to get to the end of the bunker.

It also seems as though it was never actually occupied as the forces were pulled back before the work was complete. Must have been a quick retreat as quite a lot of specialised hand made tools were discovered.

A couple of German items were also discovered but only around the entrance that perhaps says that the advancing Germans although finding the bunker never ventured inside probably suspecting traps.

Interestingly, hand driven tunnels and headings (without a can) are built much the same way today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was at a conference on WWI on Saturday and had a session by a Canadian group named CANADIGM who are busy working in France to document, with photography and 3D laser scans the carvings in some of the old 'souterraines' and tunnels in the Vimy area. The plan is to reproduce some of them and sent them cross Canada on tour. Fascinating stuff. Here's a link to one news story, with shots of a couple badges: http://www.ctvnews.ca/underground-carvings-memorialize-canadian-soldiers-1.651603

Several of the badges we saw in the presentation were carved by a tunneller who was a stone mason to the Royal Family before he came to Canada and joined the army. beautiful work and the reproduction techniques - laser - allows them to be copied so well that a pencil mark on thwe stone would change the thickness of the scan. And all buried for 100 years under tons of garbage in the back yard of French farm!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Blog Comments

    • As a theology student my professor, a much published former Naval chaplain, set us an essay, saying that if we could answer that successfully we would be guaranteed  a good degree "Which of the gospel writers was the biggest liar, discuss."   I got a good mark, but  don't want to be burned for heresy.   P
    • As my father used to say: "Tain't so much Pappy's a liar - he just remembers big."  
    • Brian: First, let me say that I always enjoy reading your blog and your "spot on" comments.  Another fine topic with such a broad expansion into so many different facets.  I had watched this a week or two ago and when reading your blog, it reminded me of this great quote.   There is a great video on the origins of "Who was Murphy in Murphy's Law"   Anyway, about mid way through this video, there is this great quote and I think it sums it up quite well to your statem
    • I've received word from the Curator that she has permission to re-open this summer.   We're already making plans for a November event at the Museum.   Michael
    • I recall I did the same on hot days at Old Fort York back in 1973-74 - wool uniforms, and at 90F they would let you take your backpack off.   Michael
  • Create New...