Sunday, November 09, 2014
The Somme Tunnel at The Bog, Shropshire
The BBC's World War One At Home site suggests there is a mystery about the Somme Tunnel which, as the name suggests, was driven into the side of the Stiperstones in 1915.
Was it a spurious, make-work scheme devised to keep the miners in Shropshire and away from the Western Front?
I think this is unlikely for two reasons.
First, because I have a book with a wartime photograph, taken outside the mine buildings, of the Bog Mines Platoon of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry.
Second, because just about every attempt to find new lodes of lead ore in the Shropshire hills came to nothing in the 20th century. The deposits were rich, but they proved to be quite localised and had been more or less worked out by 1900.
Still, such an approach would be in line with that taken in the county by the clubmen of Clun and Bishop's Castle in the English Civil War.
And mention of The Bog, now an abandoned village, gives me an excuse to recommend again this guest post on its visitor centre by Paul Davis.