WU People: Max Marwick

Max Marwick with his new trowel


Max Marwick (22) is a student of history at Sussex University, Brighton. After the summer, he’ll start the second year of his bachelor’s degree.

This year is Max’s first time on an excavation site. He feels this experience has added to his understanding of history. Whereas he usually studies from books, Max now has the opportunity to actually get down in the dirt and test historical facts against the archaeological evidence. He was doing a Summer School course with the University of Utrecht in Middelburg –“Battlefield Uncovered -when he heard that someone had dropped out of the dig: he did not hesitate to sign up and expand his horizons.

I am learning stuff you cannot just learn by history books — it gives me a whole new understanding”, Max explains whilst sitting next to a fresh spoil heap. “The dig allows me to see if this is something I might want to do later.” Thus far, metal detecting has been his favourite task and he has already recovered multiple musket balls. “That’s the best thing I’ve done so far.”

Looking ahead, Max explains that it’s difficult to predict what we’ll find this year. What is certain is that Waterloo Uncovered has made him connect with people he otherwise wouldn’t have talked to. “Between the students and the veterans, it was a bit difficult at first. I don’t want to ask a question people don’t want to answer.” Alongside him in the trench are serving Coldstream Guardsman Silvain Robert‐Malbete and Coldstream Guard veteran Malcolm Iliffe. Other than his own grandfathers, Max has never talked to veterans or military men. “Who knows — it’s only the third day, if I talk to them more I might be able to get to know them a little better.”