Moving Inscriptions Left by WWI Soldiers Discovered in French Tunnels

Moving inscriptions made by WWI soldiers were discovered recently by an archaeologist in a series of French tunnels while he was investigating these passageways’ medieval history as a quarry. The inscriptions give an intimate look at some of the fighters of the Great War in their bid to be remembered.

The said series of tunnels where the WWI soldiers’ inscriptions were found measure to about two miles long and are located in Naours which is about a two-hour trip north from Paris. The underground chambers, which were a tourist attraction during the First World War, contain almost two thousand inscriptions made by WWI soldiers comprised of hundreds of Brits and Australians, about fifty-five Americans and countless others whose nationalities have had not been identified.

According to reports, the inscriptions make up what seems to be “one of the highest concentrations of inscriptions on the Western Front”. One of the inscriptions read, “HJ Leach. Merely a private. 13/7/16. SA Australia”. WWI records reveal that Leach, who was 25 years old at the time of the conflict, died the month after etching the note on the cave wall. Still, another one of the inscriptions was done by a WWI hero who was also part of the Antarctic Expedition.

As one photographer sees the inscriptions, “”All these guys wanted to be remembered”.

The century-old tunnel inscriptions have to be preserved carefully particularly since their discovery will bring in a likely flow of tourists.

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE