War trench replicated at Heslington school

Lord Deramore’s School, a primary school located in Heslington, York, has created a replica of a war trench and bunker as part of its Armistice Day commemorations.

The trench is 20 meters in length and has sandbags and planks around it’s sides.  Although the depth of the trench is not as deep as the actual trenches used during WWI, the ground of the trench is muddy and the area in front of it features wire that mimics barbed wire.

There are also small holes in the ground that look like they were made from artillery shells to make the area look as much like an actual trench as possible.

At the end of the trench is a replica of a sunken bunker, which will be used as a classroom to teach the children things such how war rations were cooked outdoors during the war.

Sheena Powley, head teacher at the school, explains that the students will be able to experience a bit of history first hand.   They will be better able to understand what it was like for soldiers who fought in the war, but without the horror.

Unlike trenches found indoors that are based on those used during the war, this outdoor replica is more true to life because it not wet and dry like like the ones that are found inside a building.

Parents are also very intrigued by the trench and bunker replicas and found it very inspiring when the children planted felt poppies in front of the trench on Armistice Day.

Powley hopes that future wars may help to be averted by helping the children of today to understand the wars of the past, The Press reports.

Al Oswald, a parent from the school, designed the trench.  He works at the University of York in the archaeology department.  His construction design was inspired by a war field manual that had been used during WWI.

Another parent, Steve Danby, is the director of Playscheme, a company which designs and constructs playgrounds.  The company is based in York and provides its service across the country.

Ian Harvey

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