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By John Laffin

Australian battle Archaeology at the ecu battlefields

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As well as with 'Cambridge 1914'. This knife was never standard issue and to find it labelled as a war knife and dated with the first year of the war is a little surprising. Perhaps the maker anticipated a large market for the knife, although this is the only one I have seen. Below: Trench dominoes found in a German position facing the AIF 3rd Division at Messines, Flanders. Made of bonk or ivory they are wafer thin and were wrapped in a piece of oilcloth, which crumbled to pieces when unearthed from blue clay.

Some of the really big cemeteries were started by field hospitals, stationary hospitals, general hospitals and base hospitals. These were all well behind the lines and in nearly all cases out of enemy artillery range. T h e vast majority of dead in these cemeteries died of wounds as they reached the rear area or the hospitals. With few exceptions, these men were identifiable and thus are buried under named headstones. By contrast, the battlefield cemeteries contain large numbers of dead marked only as 'Known unto God'.

T h e greater the number of cemeteries and the greater the number of burials, the more intense and protracted the fighting. Cemeteries proliferate in two areas in particular-the Somme of northern France and the Ypres (now Ieper) Salient of Belgian Flanders. Many cemeteries were established by fighting units and these, probably without exception, are to be found in places where much fighting actually took place. For instance, AIF Burial Ground, near Flers, was at one time in the middle of the combat area.

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