Men of 179th and 185th Tunnelling Companies

Parkes Ezekial

Sapper Ezekiel Parkes, 179th Tunnelling Company, killed in action 22nd November 1915.

For ten years I have been research the men and tunnelling operations at La Boisselle on the Somme. Here is a roll of the men that I have identified so far. If you are related or have any information about them please contact me.


IWM Q3999

The Lochnagar Mine


Video of my talk ‘Born Fighters: Who were the Tunnellers?’


2017 Battlefield Tour ‘The Underground War’


Contact me

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6 thoughts on “Men of 179th and 185th Tunnelling Companies

  1. Hi. I love your site. I am looking into the Lochnagar crater in my own research and was wondering if you knew of any diaries which commented on the sound of the enormous explosion there on 1st July 1916? It was reputedly heard as far away as London. Thanks.

    • Hi Emily
      Mines like this didn’t make a loud bang and eyewitness accounts seldom if ever refer to a noise. It is usually the mines blown on 7 June 1917 at the Battle of Messines which are described as having been heard in London but that in itself is suspect: in that instance it was more likely the synchronised opening bombardment of about 1,500 British guns that was heard. The story of the Messines mines being heard in the UK is often repeated but I believe it to be a myth or a misconception.

  2. Thank you for your reply. I must admit I was dubious as to whether the guns and mines from France could be heard from London and that is why I have been looking into it, mostly to settle my own curiosity. It was in looking for further information that I came across references to the ‘loudest human-made sound’ coming from mines in WWI.

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