Recreated WW1 trench at Powis Castle

WW1 trench at Powis Castle, Source: Steve Rawlins/National Trust
WW1 trench at Powis Castle, Source: Steve Rawlins/National Trust

One of the many exhibitions and memorials to commemorate the battle of the Somme can be found at Powis Castle, which is situated near Welshpool in Powys. This ancient castle is now a National Trust property, having moved from the care of the Clive family to the National Trust in 1952.

Using diaries, letters and photographs, the National Trust has recreated a section of the Officer’s Mess and trench that was occupied by Viscount Percy Clive.

Percy had a privileged, wealthy start in life. When he was born, the new heir was a cause for celebration in the estate.

He joined the Welsh Guards in 1915 at age 22 and fought in the second battle of Ypres and at the Somme. He was severely wounded at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette and was transported back to England where he sadly passed away on the 12th October 1916.

The exhibition runs until 30th September 2016, and is one of many similar memorials to this horrendous battle that started on the 1st July 1916 and after 141 days more than a million young men lay wounded or dead.

The exhibition will be an interesting visit, but the mock-up will not be able to convey the cold, the dirt, the smell and the horror of living under these dreadful conditions for months on end. Should you visit, bow your head and take a moment to reflect on the sacrifice of these young people.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE