The 7th Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment was billeted in Marlborough between October 1914 and Spring 1915. During this time they undertook training prior to being sent over, initially to France, and then to Salonika, in Greece.
We have a number of historical documents that describe the battalions time in Marlborough, which includes references to the battalion undertaking training in practice trenches. There are also two contemporary photos that show these trenches in Rockley, near Marlborough.
Aerial photography combined with local knowledge of the area – has identified two training trenches sites nearMarlborough– at Rockley and near Rabley Woods. A geophysical magnetometry survey has been carried out at Rockley and the site of the trenches was identified. Although the signal was very week the layout of the trenches was identified – especially when combined with the aerial photography analysis.
We are now planning an excavation of these trenches as part of a community project involvingMarlboroughtown council and local schools. We hope that this project will become one of the centre pieces ofMarlborough’s centenary programme.