November 1, 2012

Recreational trench-building

Filed under: Britain, History, Military, WW1 — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 14:06

I’ve dug trenches, in my long-past militia days, but I’ve never really thought about doing it as a hobby:

Surrounded by barbed wire, sandbags and mud, this 60ft trench is barely distinguishable from those occupied by British soldiers fighting in the First World War almost a century ago.

The enormous dugout has been painstakingly recreated by an ex-history teacher in his back garden in Surrey, and the dedicated 55-year-old even spent 24 hours living in its confines with a team of volunteers as part of his efforts to experience life as a WWI soldier.

Andrew Robertshaw and 30 helpers spent a month shifting around 200 tonnes of earth to build the enormous three-room trench, which he hopes will teach people more about the horrific living conditions endured by British troops during the Great War.

The only thing that struck me about this and other photos in the article is that the re-enactors look too clean. Digging a trench, then spending more than a short stretch of time therein leaves dirt everywhere:

1 Comment

  1. “the re-enactors look too clean.”

    I’m recalling a time in the field where one of my sergeants walked up to me. Without thinking I moved upwind. He snapped ‘You don’t smell like a daisy, either.”

    Comment by Brian Dunbar — November 4, 2012 @ 10:09

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