The Forgotten Gunners of WW1: A Time Team Special

The Forgotten Gunners of WW1: A Time Team Special

Series 20



Belton House near Grantham is one of Britain’s finest stately homes but during the First World War the grounds housed thousands of men undergoing intensive training for frontline duties as part of the Machine Gun Corps.

Of the 170,000 men who trained here, more than 12,000 were killed and 50,000 injured earning it the nickname of the Suicide Club. Most of the records were lost in a fire and then the Blitz while almost nothing is visible of the camp above ground. However, Tony Robinson and team manage to unearth a wealth of information about the camp and the men who went so bravely to their deaths.


The team visits Belton House stately home near Grantham, Lincolnshire, to investigate the creation of the Machine Gun Corps during the First World War. The regiment was set up in the grounds, but today there is virtually no sign of its existence and most regimental records have been destroyed. The dig, however, is rich in finds, revealing glimpses of the lives of the thousands of men who trained at the site, many of whom died in battle.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Tony Robinson
Director Chris Rushton
Executive Producer Philip Clarke
Producer Chris Rushton
Series Producer Tim Taylor