A week after war was declared on August 4th 1914, the ‘Your King and Country Need You’ slogan was released to recruit men to Kitchener’s army. Tens of thousands of men responded and were trained for war. Many more would be conscripted to the cause as the months and years drew on.
Just outside the boundary of Dreghorn Barracks, in verdant woodland lies a hidden reminder of the soldiers who joined the conflict and the lives lost. A small network of neglected World War One training trenches can be discovered by the amateur archaeologist amongst the overgrowth. It is often assumed that allied troops were ill-prepared for the trench warfare of World War One but in fact, remains of military practice trenches like these exist all over the UK.
It is thought that live ammunition would have been thrown and fired down the embankment from Dreghorn Barracks’ grounds towards the men taking cover in the trenches. It was an attempt to equip the troops for their imminent departure for the Front, though undoubtedly they could not have been prepared for the full horrors of trench warfare.
View more pictures of the trenches on Capital Collections.
You can find out much more about World War One practice trenches as well as other physical markers on Britain’s landscape remaining from the conflict from The Home Front Legacy project.