The Durand Group is a fraternal association of individuals who have voluntarily undertaken to work together to further research and investigation into military related subterranean features. Founded in 1998, the central ethos is derived from that of the tunnellers of the First World War - mutual trust, personal compatibility and confidence in the integrity, competence, capability, resolution and support of all members.
As part of its remit to explain to the general public the fundamental concepts of LIVING, MOVING and FIGHTING underground and its unique significance during the Great War of 1914-18 the Group - now comprising British, Canadian, French, German and US members - have been investigating all aspects of the Loos Salient, from Grenay to Givenchy, since 2010. The results of this are encapsulated in their Engineering the Loos Salient 1915-2018 initiative and will culminate in LoosBigWalk2018 this coming September.
The Group is an eclectic mix - many are leaders in their fields whether military or civilian. A strong historical team, with several print and multimedia publications to their names, is supported by a leading specialist in WW1 artefacts. We boast a number of engineers and three consultant surveyors, and over the past decade, our five-strong archaeological team has amassed a huge wealth of experience both above and below the former battlegrounds of Pas-de-Calais and Picardy. We also have five former explosive ordnance disposal officers from the British Army, one civilian ordnance disposal contractor and a quarrying specialist. One of our members recently served with his regiment in Afghanistan.
Best practice in H&S is critical in our demanding environment and we have a leading consultant in the field to guide our mitigation of risk. In addition to first responders we have two doctors in the Group, one a former Colonel in the Royal Army Medical Corps; the other a local Lens physician and core member of the French Dakar Rally team.