Introduction Issue 10

In this issue of Historic England Research we present a selection of projects which have shed new light on the effects of the First World War on England and which also highlight how volunteers have contributed to this knowledge.

We reveal how new remote-sensing technology is transforming our knowledge of submarine wrecks that lie off our shores, and we describe how, on land, Lidar technology is being used to rediscover forgotten training areas. Both projects have called on helpers to verify discoveries, with divers visiting wreck sites and volunteers on Cannock Chase surveying the remains of the training camps.

Commissioned research has revealed the evidence for the beginnings of cyber warfare, describing the network of wireless stations built around our coast. 

New research has also found traces of often elaborate training trenches used to familiarise troops with this type of battlefield warfare and even to prepare for assaults. 

It was a war that consumed men and material on a huge scale and around 6,000 factories directly supplied the munitions for war.  In England around 170 of the most important factories, so-called National Factories, were managed by the government.  A project set out to find where these were, what they looked like and if they survive.  

We also review work by the Council for British Archaeology and volunteers to map the effect of the war on the country, and we highlight the efforts to discover, record, and protect memorials to the fallen.

This edition marks the end of the First World War centenary commemorations. But, just as many of the political repercussions of the conflict continue to reverberate around the modern world, so too will research continue to more fully understand the effects of war, both on the fabric of England and on the seabed.


Wayne Cocroft

Wayne Cocroft

Manager, Historic Places Investigation East

Wayne manages one of Historic England's Historic Places Investigation Teams. His research interests include the industrial archaeology of explosives manufacture, the Cold War and the heritage of the 20th century. He has published widely on these topics and has recently co-edited a book on effects of the First World War on England. He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

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Keep up-to-date with projects and activities involving applied research into the historic environment.

Historic England Research Issue 10

Published 6 November 2018

Keep up-to-date with projects and activities involving applied research into the historic environment.

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