This is an archived press release
Wednesday 25 January 2006
25 January 2006
Tracking down Burbage's Band of Brothers
Peak District National Park Authority archaeologists are looking for help in tracking down a US army division that trained in the Peak District during World War 2.
Archaeologist Bill Bevan is surveying Burbage Edge to record all archaeological remains to inform future conservation.
One of the important aspects of this is evidence of past military exercises. Boulders scarred by bullets and mortar shells, and foxholes survive below Burbage Edge, near to the Fox House Inn, between Hathersage and Sheffield. They were used during target practice in World War 2. But Bill would like to know who was training here.
Bill said: “From the survey we can tell that the soldiers were practising attacking uphill and assaulting positions on Burbage Edge. We believe that the American army trained on Burbage for a while before the Normandy D-Day landings. But we’re not sure exactly who it was. It may have been one of the Airborne Divisions who landed behind Utah Beach or one of the Infantry Divisions.”
The 1st Infantry Division landed at Omaha beach, which was flanked by similar cliffs to Burbage Edge and had rising ground behind it.
If anyone has any records or information about the American army in the Peak District during World War 2, please write to Bill Bevan at the Peak District National Park Authority, Aldern House, Baslow Road, Bakewell, DE45 1AE.
The archaeological survey is being funded by the Moors for the Future Partnership, which is restoring the internationally-important Peak District moors that have been damaged by fires, pollution and erosion. Their website is www.moorsforthefuture.org.uk