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Boy enjoys archaeologist wish day

Laughlin Whiteley enjoys helping archaeologists on a dig. Photo: PA Images

A history-loving six-year-old has spent a day helping archaeologists on a dig thanks to a charity which organises wish days for children facing life-threatening conditions.

Laughlin Whiteley, known as Lockie, joined a dig in Hampshire where he washed and sieved archaeological finds and got muddy by digging for artefacts in a trench.

Lockie, from Burnham-on-Crouch in Essex, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011 after experiencing excruciating headaches during the night.

Doctors carried out an MRI scan which found the medulloblastoma and the following day he had to undergo major surgery.

His surgery was followed up by radiotherapy and chemotherapy but the history fan was able to visit the British Museum while receiving treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

Lockie's archaeological day was set up by Make-A-Wish Foundation UK which sent him to Silchester Field School on July 30.

The University of Reading's department of archaeology has been excavating and researching Silchester Roman Town in Hampshire since 1997. For six weeks every summer, archaeology students from Reading and enthusiasts from as far away as the US and Australia attend the field school.

When Lockie arrived on site he was met by director Amanda Clarke and shown around the dig site before getting stuck in.

"My favourite part of Laughlin's wish has been seeing his energy, enthusiasm, excitement and focus - his core of who he is within his wish. This is what he wants to be, so seeing him digging and finding artefacts has been amazing. It's been the best experience."

– Andrea Poyser, Lockie's mum

"We were delighted to be able to share an archaeological day with Lockie. He was so passionate about every aspect of archaeology, and threw himself into every activity with huge enthusiasm.

"Seeing the excitement on his face, and the biggest of smiles, was a great reward for all of us and made the day worthwhile. I would have Lockie as a member of my excavation team at any time. Make-A-Wish certainly made his wish a reality."

– Amanda Clarke, director of Silchester Field School