Orchard Dump
Webmatters : Mesen: The Mines of 7th June 1917
Rough Map of Area

Mesen

The Mines

The following table is intended to give an idea of the scale of work undertaken by Major Norton Griffiths and those under his command. The details have been taken from the Official History.

Some of the galleries by necessity had to start 450 metres behind the British front line before pushing out towards the German emplacements. The total length of the tunnels could be anywhere from 400 metres to almost 700 metres for the longest at Kruisstraat. Some were not simple single tunnels but branched to form a number of chambers each filled with an average of 18,000 kilos of explosives.

The Messines Mines from North to South

Name Completed Depth
(Metres)
Charge
(Kilos)
Gallery
(Metres)
Crater
(Metres)
Hill 60 Group
A Left01 08 162724,23673*87
B Caterpillar18 10 163131,710421116
St Eloi28 05 173843,306409101
Hollandscheschuur Group
No 120 06 161815,492252105
No 211 07 16166,74914*65
No 320 08 16167,92712061
Petit Bois Group
No 2 Left15 08 161713,59064*127
No 1 Right30 07 162113,590631114
Maedelstede Farm02 06 173142,582491117
Peckham19 07 162139,411349101
Spanbroekmolen28 06 162741,223522131
Kruisstraat Group
No 1 and No 411 04 171722,473 120
No 212 07 161913,62052*112
No 323 08 161513,620659101
Ontario Farm06 06 173227,18039367
Trench 127 Group
No 7 Left20 04 162316,30876*71
No 8 Right09 05 162322,650413104
Trench 122 Group
No 5 Left14 05 16189,060134*99
No 6 Right11 06 162318,120296109
 *Gallery is a branch off the main tunnel

If it took a man an hour to advance a gallery 30 centimetres then it would have taken over 16,000 man hours to dig the nearly five and a half kilometres of tunnels.

If the gallery was 170 cm high and 70 cm wide, that would make approximately 6,500 cubic metres of clay to be brought to the surface and hidden away from the prying eyes of German pilots.

The total weight of explosives used amounts to 431,700 kilos.