Inside the real Birdsong tunnels: Never-before-seen images of the mines dug by British ‘clay-kickers’ under German lines in WW1

Flanders fields today bears little sign of the four years of war that claimed so many thousands of lives and ravaged this small corner of the Western Front.

But further down, deep below the surface there remains a constant reminder of the bravery and daring of the men who risked their lives for their country.

Beneath the farmers ploughs, most of the tunnels and dug-outs hewn from the earth by English pitmen to literally undermine the German offensive remain intact, untouched for almost 100 years.

They were also the scene of fierce hand-to-hand combat between diggers from both armies, as portrayed in the Sebastian Faulks novel Birdsong.



Keith is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE