clay kicker
Media playback is unsupported on your device

How a clay-kicking team worked

A clay-kicking team included a kicker with his kicking iron, a bagger, who passed lumps of clay back to a "trammer", who passed it out of the tunnels.

Everything was done as silently as possible, in incredibly confined conditions without any fresh air. The rule was if a candle would burn, the air was good enough to work in. If it went out, it was time to get out.

Military historian Peter Barton created a reconstruction of the clay-kickers at work for BBC Four documentary: The Somme: Secret Tunnel Wars, which was first aired in 2013.

  • 01 Jul 2016