Archaeological research in Mesen


During the construction of new garages for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at Mesen (Armentiersstraat) the remains of German military positions from World War One were discovered. The Flemish Heritage Institute (Vlaams Instituut voor het Onroerend Erfgoed, V.I.O.E.) was notified and carried out all necessary fieldwork.

About 35m long, part of a German trench could be documented. West of it lay two shelters (each about 2.5m by 3m) that were accessible from the trench. The branching of another trench was also clearly visible. All these structures were part of the German second line. Only the lower parts of the trenches proved to be intact. Still, they indicated the manner in which the Germans dealt with excess water here.The actual bottom of the trench was used as a drain. Completely constructed out of wood it was stabilized with rows of wooden stakes and