WWI-style trench opens in Port Moody

Guy Black has spent every weekend labouring for the last seven months with other volunteers to build a replica World War One trench, usually in the rain, standing in deep-sucking mud.

Built entirely by volunteers, the project will be showcased at Port Moody Station Museum until 2018

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      Guy Black has spent every weekend over the last seven months labouring with other volunteers to build a replica World War One trench, usually in the rain, standing in deep-sucking mud.  

      "To especially do it by hand, it was painful," said Black, who wanted to keep the design and construction of the project as historically accurate as possible.  

      "We just had to push ourselves so hard. One guy put his back out twice. I ended up having numb hands and it's because of the pressure put on my forearms from digging."

      The completed McKnight Centennial Trench, which is an impressive 21 metres long, nearly two metres deep, and over one metre wide, will open at the Port Moody Station Museum this weekend and stay there for the entire First World War commemoration to 2018.  

      Cadets volunteer expertise

      Black says this wouldn't have been possible without the help of volunteer army cadets.  

      Members of the 6 Engineer Squadron Cadet Corps and the Royal Westminster Regiment Cadet Corps of Maple Ridge and Aldergrove devoted hundreds of hours to laying barbed wire, digging shell craters and filling and piling hundreds of sandbags.  

      What those guys--the cadets would do--is just non-stop working and never complaining.- Guy Black

      "What those guys-- the cadets--would do, is just non-stop working and never complaining. Working alongside kids from cadets was really a great experience, and that was definitely one of the highlights for me," Black said.  

      In honour of Port Moody veteran

      The trench is named in honour of Lieutenant Augustus Wilberforce McKnight, an active Port Moody resident and city engineer who served in the First World War.  

      He was fatally wounded by an enemy sniper while he was supervising trench construction work on August 11, 1916.  He now lies buried at Reninghelst New Military Cemetery in Belgium.

      The dedication ceremony for the trench takes place on April 4 at 2 p.m at the Port Moody Station Museum located at 2734 Murray Street.

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