War secrets in West Flanders' soil

THV Monument Vandekerckhove-Ruben Willaert-Gate asked Bom-Be to provide assistance to the archaeological excavations that precede the expansion of the Kaaskerke industrial site in Diksmuide. These brought to light two "Livens Projector" batteries. A Livens projector was a very simple British mortar tube, used in trench warfare. They were positioned in rows and on metal disks (called ‘sombreros’ because of their form), to prevent them sinking into the mud because of recoil. A 7.6 inch mortar grenade, usually filled with toxic phosgene gas, was loaded into the front of the tube. Before an attack, everyone had to leave the battery site, because firing the projectors was a risky business. The ignition system was electric, and the grenades – which looked more like gas bottles – could reach the enemy’s trenches from about a mile away.

This excavation shows that things could seriously go wrong. At least one of the tubes exploded and was ripped to shreds, making it look like a forged iron work of art. This unique war find was meticulously registered, and Bom-Be made sure this could be done safely. With a prodder, we checked if there were no more grenades in the tubes. We also found German grenades, because the battery had been fired upon by the enemy, and carried all ammunition over to DOVO.

On the same site, the archaeologists found the remains of 1 French and 3 Belgian missing soldiers, as reported on the VRT news site (in English): 

Archaeology – assistance  magnetometry