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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The Excavation of a World War II Army camp at Mortonhall, Edinburgh
Author(s): Kirby, Magnus
Ross, Alasdair
Anderson, Sue
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Keywords: Mortonhall
World War II
army camp
Issue Date: May-2013
Citation: Kirby M, Ross A & Anderson S (2013) The Excavation of a World War II Army camp at Mortonhall, Edinburgh. Journal of Conflict Archaeology, 8 (2), pp. 106-135.
Abstract: Archive material relating to Mortonhall, Edinburgh, indicates that there was a World War I army camp within the grounds of the estate, which was occupied by the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. However, excavations carried out by CFA Archaeology Ltd during Scottish Water's Edinburgh Drinking Water Project revealed physical remains which relate to a later World War II army camp. This appears to have been initially occupied by the 16th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry in 1940, who were billeted in tents, with the permanent camp being constructed by private contractors from 1942. Archive material suggests that the camp largely consisted of Nissen huts. This evidence is supported by the limited archaeological excavations which uncovered a number of concrete hut bases of the size pertaining to the standard dimensions of Nissen huts. However, there was also evidence of different architectural styles with a number of the buildings having been constructed from brick and asbestos. Reports that Mortonhall was a POW camp were probably unfounded, but it seems to have functioned as a camp for displaced Eastern Europeans. The exact date of closure is unknown, but the size of the camp was clearly being scaled down by the 1950s.
DOI Link: 10.1179/1574077313Z.00000000021
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