The Trench Experience


Thousands of men ate, slept, lived, fought and died in the miles of trenches that stretched across the Western Front in World War I. In the 21st Century it is difficult for us to imagine the horror of daily life there but the “trench experience” may help us get a feel for just that.

Acclaimed historian Andy Robertshaw is creating a replica First World War trench, built by historians, archaeologists and volunteers, to exact contemporary specifications. The trench, to be known as “The HawthorneTrench”,  will be a true learning experience for children and adults alike. Andy will open the trench officially to the public and school groups in 2017, offering a rare opportunity for you to reach out and touch history. “The Hawthorne Trench” is located in the Elham Valley in Kent:

  • Discover how soldiers really lived in the trenches
  • Handle real First World War uniforms, equipment and weapons
  • Learn about the dangers men faced daily on the frontline
  • Experience the cramped living conditions of the soldiers

The trench is already being used frequently as a film location.

Watch the Life in the Trenches trailer:

Volunteers are invited to come along and help construct the trench on particular days. The next volunteer day will be Saturday 23 September 2018. If you would like to help Andy on this day please email him at


To book the trench for a private group visit or for filming enquiries, please fill in the form below