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Replica Great War trenches to be unveiled at Whittington museum

A replica World War One trench system is set to open for visitors in November.

The lives of soldiers during the Great War will be put into focus at The Staffordshire Regiment Museum in Whittington.

And now the venue has revamped its trench system using some of the artefacts in its collection, including letters sent home from the front during the battles.

Re-enactors in the Staffordshire Regiment Museum trenches

Re-enactors in the Staffordshire Regiment Museum trenches

“The 500ft trench system contains ‘scrape’ holes, living quarters with interactive exhibits, gun positions, a first aid station and even a tunnel used during the period to undermine the enemy trenches that were often just a short way away,” a spokesperson said.

“Ammunition boxes are strewn around, sandbags line the walls, original signage points the way and the visitor is immersed in a professionally created soundscape that evokes the trenches of WWI France.”

The museum is staffed by serving and ex-army personnel, and volunteers, who bring to life the the reality of military combat.

“This has allowed a soundscape to be created that truly reflects what many of our Grandfathers and Great-Grandfathers would have heard every day almost 100 years ago,” the spokesperson added.

“For instance, if you were being fired at by a sniper, you would hear the report of the gun very differently to how it’s usually portrayed in the movies and on TV. Rather than just hearing the weapon going off or rounds whining past, if a sniper has you in his sights, you will hear the passing round before you hear the round being fired.

“This is called ‘crack and thump’. The crack is the sound of the round passing your ear and the thump is the rifle being fired in the distance. This strange noise is created because a bullet flies faster than the speed of sound.”

To mark the opening of the trench system, a series of events are being planned, ahead of a major World War One commemoration in August 2014:

  • November 23: Night in the Trenches – The opportunity to experience a soldier’s life in the trenches. Uniform re-enactors take visitors back to evoke the life lived and conditions experienced by our troops during the Great War. Guided tours take place from 4.30pm to 7.45pm. Adults entry costs £6, with concessions and children under 16 costing £4, with a family ticket £15.Please go to www.staffordshireregimentmuseum.co.uk for further details.
  • December 7 – Carols in the Trenches: A re-enactment of the 1914 Christmas Truce, with carols sung in the trench system, taking place from 7pm to 8.30pm. Entry for adults is £3, with concessions and children under 16 £2, or family ticket for £6.

For more information, visit www.staffordshireregimentmuseum.co.uk.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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