450 MEN TO DIG TRENCHES AT NIGHT DURING WAR TIME
THE war-time guidelines for British trench construction stated that it would take 450 men six hours at night to complete 250m of frontline trench system.
It would have been hard graft with picks and shovels.
The Morfa Bay trenches were dug out using a seven tonne digger and were completed in three days.
Trenches were never straight but were dug in a zigzagging or stepped pattern.
Later fighting trenches broke the line into firebays connected by traverses.
This meant that a soldier could never see more than 10 yards or so along the trench.
Consequently, the entire trench could not be infiltrated if the enemy gained access at one point; or if a bomb or shell landed in the trench, the blast could not travel far.
The sides of the trench were often revetted with sandbags, wooden frames and wire mesh.
The floor of the trench was usually covered by wooden duckboards.