First Ditch Effort

Photo by Ciaran McCrickard/Connors

Andrew Robertshaw of Charlwood, England decided he wanted to build a World War I era trench in his garden. Robertshaw, age 55, then enlisted the help of 30 volunteers and built the 60ft-long trench -moving 200 tones of earth in the process- in about a month. After completion he then lived in it (along with a group of reenactors) for 24 hours to relive what WWI soldiers went through.

"It's all about learning"' said Mr Robertshaw, who explained that all of the participants wrote about their experiences of cooking, eating and cleaning in the trench. "I am an ex-history teacher and I just want people to know more about our history and the First World War is such a big part of that," said the historian, who has appeared on the television programme Time Team and worked behind the scenes on Who Do You Think You Are? "Particularly as Remembrance Day is coming up it is important to realise how those troops were living."

He is working on a book titled 24 Hour Trench: A Day In The Life Of a Frontline Tommy. Check out all the amazing photographs and a video here.

-Via Daily Mail UK

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Fascinating, Thanks for posting this Brody.

I wish I had the means to visit this guy and his museum trench, but...wrong continent, diminished financials (for now) and etcetera prevent me.

I used to kinda, well, not exactly scoff, but be sorta scoffy whenever I read or heard a reference to American Civil War reenactors. Then I moved to Virginia, about 30 minutes west from Monticello for a couple of years.

The Civil War reenactors put so much time and effort into authenticity, it is amazing. Their scholarship is extraordinary - the best amateur scholars are genuinely respected by the best academic scholars and vise versa.

But Mr. Robertshaw's trench warfare recreation, I would especially enjoy visiting this in person.
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The movie, 'Passchendaele', directed by and starring Paul Gross, went to some length to accurately depict WWI trench warfare. The story is a bit hokey, but the battle scenes are as filthy and gory and desperate as Paul and his team could make them. For those scenes, the movie is worth the time to watch.
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