Rachel Willis

Summer excavation 2017

After 21 years in the Army, Rachel was medically discharged in early 2018. Whilst she has decided that her next career will be as a horticulturist – she has a City and Guilds qualification and is currently studying for a diploma from the Royal Horticulture Society – she also discovered archaeology as a hobby through excavations with Operation Nightingale, Breaking Ground Heritage, and Wessex Archaeology.

Waterloo Uncovered was an opportunity to come and dig at the site of the most famous land battle.

As it turns out, it also created an opportunity for Rachel to get a head start on her dream work as a historical gardener. During and after the dig, she has been working on a project to understand what the gardens of Hougoumont were like, using archaeological evidence, historical research along with her new horticultural skills.

For Rachel the two weeks were “a fantastic experience, I met lots of lovely people, and I’m really positive about the future and potential project that may come my way.”

Rachel in 2017