4th july



Breaking ground | Day 1

We're back on the battlefield for a new season of excavation! 

Read on to watch our daily video, meet the team, and learn all about our discoveries so far...

As we being a new season of excavation, learn about our excavation plans from Archaeological Director, Professor Tony Pollard. 

Meet the team

Steve, 50 is a British veteran based in South East England. Steve served in the Army for six years, as a Private in the ACC and RLC, specialising as a Chef. He served for six years, seeing active service in Bosnia. His most recent post before leaving the Army was in Berlin.

"I went to Bosnia, where my problems started. I did 6 years in the TA and then I’ve been badly struggling with my mental health for probably 25 years and didn’t get help," Steve admits, "I’ve suffered with chronic pain due to my PTSD. I managed to get on this course when I was really struggling with suicidal thoughts and the lovely team here managed to get me on this at the last minute, because I probably would have talked myself out of it."

After a week on site, Steve reflected on his experience: "It’s been absolutely amazing experience. I’ve found my first musket ball, French, and it didn’t hit the English either so that’s good!"

"I’m having an amazing time; there’s banter, there's team work with the internationals and all," Steve says, "It's been a real experience and I’ve been really lucky and I appreciate it very much, thank you."


day one in pictures


To kick off the excavation, the veterans and students learnt some key archaeological skills from our archaeologists, and received a tour of the battlefield from Archaeological Director Professor Tony Pollard.


Then, it was time to open our first trench! Shallow trenches were dug using an excavator in the area thought to hold a brick quarry, where the clay for the bricks that built Hougoumont were dug. Elsewhere, the veterans were able to give metal detecting and GPS survey a try for the first time. 

We wouldn't be able to support veterans like those on this years dig, or continue our groundbreaking archaeology work, without the generosity of our supporters and donors.

Please consider making a donation today as we help even more veterans find peace from war. 

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