Defence Archaeology Group

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Op NIGHTINGALETM started more than 5 years ago in 2012 and since then has won several national awards for its work. It all started when a group of army personal were employed to recover archaeological material from Badger Setts at the Chisenbury Midden on Salisbury Plain. This work was supervised by Sgt Diarmaid Walshe and Richard Osgood. Also invited along to view the proceedings was Time Team’s Dr Phil Harding. As the number of projects grew and diversified the creation of the Defence Archaeology Group was naturally developed. The official formation of the Defence Archaeology Group was completed on 28th September 2012 when Dr Phil Harding and Surgeon Commodore Peter Buxton were invited to the cabin of HMS Victory to sign the ‘Visitors Book’ to record the event.


The Defence Archaeology Group facilitates Op NIGHTINGALETM and other activities. Although independent from the Ministry of Defence, it has well established links with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation which has the lead for archaeology on the Defence Estate. Defence Archaeology Group can help individuals link up with suitable archaeology projects and help existing archaeology projects find suitable military personnel and veterans to participate in their projects. Defence Archaeology Group does not directly support individuals financially but can sign-post them to other charities to assist them to arrange any funds necessary to participate.


(Senior Officer of Defence Archaeology Group)

As Defence Archaeology group Senior Officer, Peter provides overall guidance and advice to the various Defence Archaeology Group projects and chairs the meetings. He holds a Master Degree in Archaeology but his present job as the Medical Director General (Naval) in the Royal Navy has prevented him from as much practical involvement in excavations as he would have wished.


We support a variety of different charities in order to support our ex servicing and servicing military personnel from across the three services. If you would like to get involved with these charities check out our Charities Page and see if you can make a difference is well.


 (Senior Professional expert to DAG)

A professor of archaeology at the University of Leicester, Simon has been closely involved with Op NIGHTINGALETM and Defence Archaeology Group from an early stage, and works with other civilian archaeologists to provide excavation opportunities for Op NIGHTINGALETM participants.