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 many the men that I have identified so far. If you are related or have any information about them please contact me.

Isaac Rosenberg

My ‘War Poets’ Battlefield Tour with The Cultural Experience, 26-29 July 2019


My ‘First & Last Shots’ Battlefield Tour with The Cultural Experience, 20-23 August 2019


Shirebrook Miners in the Tunnelling Companies 

IWM Q3999

The Lochnagar Mine

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

Contact me

10 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.

  3. 121966 Sapper Thomas Lloyd from Bargoed signed up 1916, survived and killed in 1939 – my step great grandfather. As a family we know very little about him but as a miner and in his forties when he went to war we believe he was a tunneller. A family member has a medal but won’t give any info as to whether further identifying detail may be inscribed on it. Have you ever come across this man please, I note a similar number was in 179th on your list so quite possible he was with him. Thank you

  4. Hi my great great uncle was Herbert speller killed in action in1916. He was in the 179 tunnelers. Wounder if u have any details of him .

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