The Elgin’s 31 Combat Engineer Regiment build a trench based on construction plans originally used in World War 1, Belgium and France, 1914 – 1918.
Fighting rages along the Western Front, a 400-mile line of barbwire and trenches. Soldiers hoping to survive in the storm of bullets and shellfire seek refuge in the trench. Constructed in Thamesville, Ontario in 2018 by the Canadian Great War Society, the intent was to provide Canadians with insights into the experiences of Canada’s soldiers in WW1. The trench was built with the aid of construction plans originally used during WW1. Now, after several years of use, the trench needed rebuilding and repairs. The Elgin’s, 31 Combat Engineer Regiment agreed to help repair and rebuild the trench, and to provide their team with a valuable training exercise. The Elgin’s found this to be an exciting opportunity for their combat engineers to experience how trenches were constructed in WW1. They noted how very similar the trenches and barbwire entanglements were, between WW1 and today. When the trench was completed some team members said that they would feel quite safe in the trench during combat. The trench building exercise also had resonance for them, given the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There, once again, soldiers have built trenches to protect themselves from the effects of shells and bullets. The Trench video is presented by The King & Empire Foundation.