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First World War training trench survey begins at Dreghorn site

ARCHAEOLOGISTS fighting to save trenches where young Scots trained for the horrors of the Great War began work on the historic site yesterday.

IN THE TRENCHES: Work is due to begin.
IN THE TRENCHES: Work is due to begin.

The almost century-old trench network near Dreghorn barracks in Edinburgh will be examined by archaeologists in order to uncover the full extent of the site.

The training trenches were often the only experience Scots soldiers would have of trench warfare before being sent to the Western Front.

Next year will mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The Glasgow University survey team was due to meet yesterday with Colonel Philip Bates, commander of the Army's Edinburgh garrison, and councillor Richard Lewis as work began.

For Lynne Gladstone-Millar, a local historian who has been campaigning for the trenches for 10 years, the announcement was a huge victory.

Her father, William Ewart Gladstone-Millar, a young officer in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, trained in the "Dreghorn sludge" before winning the Military Cross later in the Great War.

Lynne remembers her father saying: "There was a very specialised kind of mud there. We called it Dreghorn Sludge. It caked on to your kilt so that the pleats lacerated your knees like knives."

Glasgow University's Centre for Battlefield archaeology will carry out work on the £3500 project.

The centre's director Dr Tony Pollard said: "This will be our first involvement with domestic practice trenches."

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