Despite the cold windy weather and a severe lack of volunteers, my mother and I had possibly our best day’s dig yet!
We excavated a relatively deep layer of demolition rubble in the corner between the front door of the house, the garden/farmyard wall and the outside toilet – and it must have been where they dumped some of their rubbish!
A collapsed rusty container, which may have been perhaps 5-10 litres capacity, was excavated. It may have been rectangular, but due to its poor state of preservation, it is hard to tell what its original dimensions may have been.
Nearby were found what may have been the electrodes of a battery. They consisted of small green (copper?) topped metal rods, whose lower portions were encapsulated by what appeared to be (mostly broken) cylinders of carbon. A larger dark coloured ‘wine bottle cork’ sized cylinder came out of part of the rusty metal container. Was the metal container the casing for a battery? During the 1930’s battery powered radios required both 120V and 6V (rechargeable) batteries, etc – Newmarket Farm had no mains electricity! It may have either been used by those that lived there (the first cheap radio in the 1930’s cost a little over £6), or by the military when they took over the farm from 1942-45 for military training exercises – perhaps for a communications radio.
- the hind leg (with tail) of a tin horse;
- the broken arm of a ceramic figurine – white folds of cloth on the upper arm and outer part of the shoulder, gold trim outlining the edge of the shoulder of a second cream coloured outer garment or perhaps a collar – the original figurine may have been about 30cm tall;
- a wide variety of other ceramic shards – probably plates, cups, storage containers – including 2 small fragments of bone-china;
- fragments of very thin window glass;
- fragments of bottle glass;
- some rusty nails;
- a piece of metal tube, probably part of the water pipe which comes from the direction of the farmyard and heads across in front of the nearby house, where it has been cut by the bulldozer;
- two sizes of bullet casings – .303 and a smaller;
- and last, but certainly not least, a “shoulder title” (badge) with the lettering “16/5L” which apparently belonged to the 16th/5th The Queen’s Royal Lancers sometime between 1922-1945.
The 16th/5th Lancers were a cavalry regiment based in India before they returned to England for the Second World War in 1940, where they swapped their horses for vehicles, including tanks. Further research is required to discover whether there are historical records of the regiment training in this area during WW2.