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ABE group gets a glimpse of trench life!

The Bathgate Tuesday morning group have visited Scotland's only replica World War 1 trench!

Trench visit helmet

As part of the 100 year anniversary of the war, the group have been learning all about the conflict. So they invited Sybil Cavanagh, a librarian and local historian who works at Linlithgow library to show them round the trench to find out more.

The group learned about the reality of trench life - from helmets, guns and gas masks to everyday resources such as foodstuffs, camping stove gels, and techniques for getting rid of lice (the soldiers would run a candle flame along the seams of their clothes to destroy their eggs). The group were also shown authentic food tins of the period to get a true flavour of the trenches.

Sybil Cavanagh told us that "It helps when the group, like those who came this morning, have some background knowledge of the war. They were able to have some fun trying on the helmets and the gas masks and firing the rifles over the parapet, but at the same time the tour hopefully helped them to better understand the difficulties of living in the trenches and the horrors of fighting in the war."

Trench visit guns
Trench visit guns
Group tutor Aileen McGovern agreed: "We had a really fabulous time, it was really informative. You can understand why people deserted - I wouldn't have been able to survive 5 days in a trench at a time!"

 The trench can be visited by the public anytime during Bathgate Partnership Centre opening hours (daylight only). Public tours are available free every Tuesday at 10am. Group tours are available by prior arrangement with Sybil Cavanagh at Linlithgow Library.