Pendine workers dig in for First World War trenches project
A VERY small army of workers are digging into a project to build First World War trenches in Carmarthenshire.
The trench system is being developed at Morfa Bay Adventure in Pendine as an educational experience for young people.
The holes are dug and the wooden supports to stop the muddy walls caving in are now being put into place.
Next will be sandbags stacked on the banks and the replica forward command post, as well as other niches like those found in genuine war trenches.
It will be made to look as realistic as possible with sound effects to help set the scene.
Owner Andy Edwards said he was keen to mark the 100-year anniversary of the war and would use the facility to educate young people about the harsh realities of war.
He added: "This trench system will be for all ages, but specifically for young people of school age, to help them understand what men and women went through during the Great War."
The system will have a frontline trench, forward command post, communication trench and a delousing area.
It will also be packed with funk holes — where soldiers rested in trench walls — toilet area, cleaning area, and a sapper trench leading to a forward observation area in no man's land.
Mr Edwards added: "The trench will not be a total replica of a specific trench.
"The design represents an amalgamation of different areas of trench systems that will be constructed to demonstrate life in the trenches.
"It is hoped it will give an experience of trench life."
And Mr Edwards said he had been given old wood by local businesses and was currently sourcing props to add to the experience.
He was also keen to tell the stories of men and women from the Pendine area during the war.
"The centenary is a wonderful opportunity to not only archive local stories but to springboard an awareness for generations to come," he said.
"Part of the project will be to archive local stories related to the Great War that we need the older generation to pass on.
"The trench will also become a stage for relating individual stories from local people.
"It will stand as a commemoration to those who served and, hopefully, will enable children to understand what people went through."
The project has received funding from the RDP Sir Gar Strengthening the Tourism Appeal of Rural Carmarthenshire grant.
Mr Edwards is taking the project very seriously and has consulted military experts to help get the project right.
Last week, Lieutenant General Jonathan Riley visited, as well as Charles Griffiths, local historian, who is advising on an ongoing basis.