Tunnel Entrance

A shaft entrance of 1915 or 1916. Research has not so far found specific reference to the construction of this feature. However it is some 60 metres from the closest part of the line, ‘Bomb Corner’ to the British, ‘Handgranaten Ecke‘ to the Germans. In mid 1915, the Germans bored a shallow shaft forward from their front line here and blew their mine, it turned out, woefully short of the British sack wall in spite of the short distance involved. It is likely that this British or Canadian shaft is the entrance to a listening gallery, which might quickly have been adapted for counter mine activity should the Germans have recommenced their underground activities.

Shaft entrances were vulnerable to collapse if hit by shellfire. The square or oblong concrete frame is designed to protect the entrance and also to provide bracing for winches used to remove the spoil. Thick tiles have been recycled from nearby buildings and inset into the concrete along part of the rim. This was either an artistic embellishment by a single soldier, or served a purpose such as preventing wear to the structure where a beam or piece of equipment rested.

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