Discover the Trench

Explore the trench network

There are a number of key areas within the trench that offer specific insights into what life was really like for the men that lived there.

There are four areas shown below:

Orange marker In each area you will find ‘hotspots’ that you can click on to find out more information.
Trench entrance

Explore our trench

Select one of the areas to find out more.


the First Aid Station

First aid - interactive picture
STRETCHER: In some cases Non Combatant Soldiers were used as stretcher bearers. They enlisted but didn’t carry any weapons. The novelist Ernest Hemingway was worked as a stretcher bearer. Find out more…
FIELD DRESSING: When the field dressings ran out a good and more effective dressing could be made out of sphagnum moss. It can absorb up to twenty times its volume in blood and pus.
SALT: To clean the wounds water and salt would be poured in.


the Soldier's Mess

Soldier's mess - interactive picture
POLISHING BOOTS: Using water resistant polish is essential to stop the feet getting wet and getting a condition called trench foot. In some cases the infected foot needed to be amputated.
CHATTING: Lice in the trenches was a problem. The soldiers called them ‘chatts’. Soldiers used to crack the lice with their thumbs. British soldier Eric Partridge recalls; “Groups of men could be seen cracking lice and jokes together.”
CARD GAMES: The Germans were the first to recognise the power of playing cards. When their army could not advance on the Western Front they promoted playing cards as kriegswichtig or strategically important.


the Firing Step

Firing step - interactive picture
PERISCOPE: Used to look over the trench without the risk of being shot. Find out how to make one in learning resources.
BINOCULARS: Historian Adam Hochschild unearthed a deal during the Great War between Germany and Britain. Germany supplied Britain with binoculars and Britain supplied Germany with rubber to make tyres. As they were at war they delivered the goods to Switzerland which was neutral.
LEE ENFIELD RIFLE: The standard rifle issued to the British Army during WW1. The soldier here is doing the morning hate. This involved firing towards the enemy trench with no particular target or objective but to relieve the tension.


the Officer's Mess

Officer's mess - interactive picture
GAS MASK: This small box respirator gas mask was introduced to British soldiers in April 1916. Before that a soldier might have to dip a handkerchief in urine and cover his nose and mouth for protection.
TRENCH ORDERS: The British Army needs to have rules, but the rule that every soldier needed to have a moustache was abolished in 1916.
RATIONS: If you were lucky you might get bully beef and biscuits. Maconochie was a thin soup of carrots and turnips one soldier said, “Warmed in a tin, Maconochie was edible; cold it was a man killer.”
RATS: Rats would feed on the dead bodies of the battlefield some soldiers have said that they grew to the size of cats.

Interactive and educational historical experience

Trench Network

Over 88m of trench network

WWI Artefacts

Filled with a mix of both original and authentic artefacts from World War 1.


Relive the stories of the the people who would have spent their time in the trenches.