We are very grateful to Gerry Emsley and his son Martin Emsley for contacting us recently to tell us the story of their relative Edward George Emsley (the uncle of Gerry) – a Private in the 10th Battalion London Regiment who was at Hurdcott Camp during 1916. Tragically, Edward was killed by dashing across the road (the present A30) in bad weather and was hit by a motor vehicle which he did not see. We have been given several documents relating to Edward and you can see them below. Such a sad story. Edward is buried in the neighbouring parish of Baverstock at the beautiful St Edith’s Church.
We shall be holding our Anzac Day service along with a formal ‘opening’ of the Map of Australia on Thursday 25th April 2019.
We are delighted to be joined by the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Mrs Sarah Rose Troughton and the Deputy Australian High Commissioner, Mr Matt Anderson.
Meeting time is 10am at Naishes Farmyard, A30, Compton Chamberlayne, Wiltshire, SP3 5DL, with a service start time of 10:45am. Please note, that due to the location of the Map on the chalk downland, a 15-20 minute walk plus a fairly steep climb is required. Please wear suitable footwear. Vehicular access can be arranged for those that need assistance, please let us know in advance.
We were invited by Sharon Soutar from Historic England to speak at the Wiltshire Archaeological Conference in Devizes on Saturday 23rd March. A real honour to be able to talk about the project. We took along our display boards and had a little stand. Our talk, lasting 25 minutes, was one of the first, in front of an audience of 150.
Sharon who has been involved in our project since 2017 talked about her survey and interpretation work on the Map of Australia but also explained about her wider survey work in the area which picked up evidence of the camp and the trenches.
I then talked about the project from its very beginning – writing letters to two local landowners trying to establish who owned the land, to the completion of the restoration on 3rd October 2018 followed by our Armistice Day service. The audience seemed really interested and we had plenty of complementary comments afterwards.
Sharon Soutar is a GIS and survey specialist in the Investigation and Analysis Graphics Team at Historic England. Combining skillsets as a landscape archaeologist and graphic designer, Sharon has spent over 20 years working in various parts of Historic England. She became involved in our project in July 2017 and carried out the ground survey back in November 2017. She was able to accurately mark out the Map for us this summer and has just published her research paper all about the Map of Australia.
You can read all about it here
We have a very special Armistice Day service on the Map of Australia, observing the two minutes silence at 11 o’clock. The service was held by Rev Bill Smith along with Lieutenant James Davis, Australian Army and included readings by RAF and RAAF personnel along with some of our volunteers. It was a very moving and poignant service.