Our Saturday trench working group consists of half dozen volunteers, often less, depending on work schedules and family life.
An influx of new people is always welcome and one of our most significant groups of helpers has been 6 Engineer Squadron, Cadets from North Vancouver. They are extremely hard working and never complain no matter how hard it rains or how deep the mud is or how many sandbags they are filling, they just keep working.
We are pleased to welcome the Royal Westminster Regiment Army Cadet Corps from Maple Ridge, they are ready to help us and will be at the trench very soon. We also have other cadet corps interested in coming out and we greatly appreciate their help.
If anyone would like to give us a hand for a couple hours just email or call the museum or take a chance and show up any Saturday between 11:00 am and 3: pm. Wear you rubber boots, bring work gloves and a hammer and expect to get dirty.
Saturday at the trench was again muddy due to recent rain, the trench is a deep wide ditch with a dirty stream in the middle that makes its way into no man’s land.
The group today consisted of myself, Allan, Sean and Sonny. We took another look at the firing trench and figured things needed to be changed, enlarged with additional trench section added to cover the entire width of the back lot. We got to work digging, added a shelter onto the side of one trench section and built endless trench boards. Trench boards are 6 feet 4 inches long according to the 1921 Field Works manual but due to necessity we have made each section of boards different lengths, made to fit each part of the trench.
We had a few visitors and donation of two large boxes of nails from our Patron, Colonel Jim Happer CD and Tree Island Steel of Richmond, BC. Thank you both.
We are busy trying to get the trench exhibit completed before April 2015. So far weather is cooperating with no snow or frozen ground. We will let everyone know when it is completed and open for guided tours.
Thanks Don Thomas and VEMRA for your comment. Mr. Thomas is a retired Canadian Forces Military Engineer who also severed in the Canadian Airborne Regiment and PPCLI. He spends his spare time volunteering at Fort Rodd Hill on Vancouver Island and is heavily involved with Military History events. For those interested in what VEMRA means, just check out their website, http://vemra.ca/
Saturday everyone wore their historic uniforms. Great the see people working on the trench in uniform. This makes the trench complete and one feels truly transported back.
Museum volunteers were busy again this past Saturday working on the trench adding one more section of A – Frame supports along with shoring boards. Standing in mud and digging through hard clay. John Goheen from Port Coquitlam worked hard with a pick and we all took turns digging.
We decided to wear our First World War uniforms and they helped create a more realistic experience for us and for anyone that came to see what what we were doing.
Our Patron, Colonel James R. Happer CD arrived with his son and he is now busy planning the barbed wire obstacles in no man’s land. Colonel Happer has been connected to 6th Field Engineer Sqn/39 Combat Engineer Regiment since 1973 and we are proud to have him associated with us at the museum.
Some local Scouts also visited and we were pleased to see them and hope they might join us for some work on the trench. McKnight whom the trench is named after was one of the very first Port Moody Scout Masters.
We would also like to thank Plateau Cleaners for their cash donation which will be used to buy materials to make the trench “duck” boards. Thanks Sonny and to your son, Sonny is actually at the museum right now trying to level the bottom of the trench and last time I saw him he was splattered with mud.
Donations needed, we are still looking for old worn out corrugated metal sheeting, cedar 2 x 4’s, 2 x 6 planks, 6 sheets of new 3/4 inch plywood and some rough logs 6 to 10 feet long and 4 to 10 inch diameter.
Please remember all visitors are welcome, please keep in mind it is an active work site so talk to us first and we will try to give you a tour, wear your rubber boots and be ready to get a little dirty.
Thank you for your interest. Guy Black
Today we moved the shed to it’s new position.
Amazing what can be accomplished with muscle powers and a whole lot of wood.
Tomorrow Saturday will be our first day digging in our new WW1 uniforms. Come out and have a look.
A-frame sinking into the mud and first aid dog surveying the trench.
Mud fills the trench, adding to it’s realism.
The new A-frame and shoring is done, it now needs to be “buried” in dirt.
Another Saturday working on the McKnight Trench. Our little group of volunteers spent yesterday moving a large shed from the back of the museum to a new location at the side of the station building. Moving the shed will allow us more room to construct our enemy trench and increase the size of our battle worn no man’s land. We are finally approaching the last stage of trench construction of the allied trench. We are battling weather hoping to get things done before winter shuts us down. More Army cadets are expected to be out helping us on the trench very soon and we appreciate their help, they don’t mind getting dirty and wet and never complain. One of our volunteers is Mr. Sonny Son who is a war veteran. Although he may be the oldest member of our group he has the ability to outwork everyone, quite amazing to watch. Thank you again to everyone that has helped us and especially those that donated building materials and to Western Command Military Vehicle Historical Society for their cash donation. Thanks Harry and Cary for making it happen.