Replica trench commemorates Warminster’s involvement in First World War

Warminster town clerk Heather Abnerethie with 1914 Nestle milk at the Warminster Great War display at the Civic Hall. Picture by Trevor Porter

Veronica Mills promotes the Warminster Great War exhibition. Picture by Trevor Porter

Guide Jean Holden at the exhibition. Picture by Trevor Porter

First published in Warminster
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A replica trench is in place at Warminster Civic Centre commemorating the town’s involvement in the First World War.

The trench display created by organisation Wiltshire Soldiers features old photographs, newspaper cuttings and artefacts.

Wiltshire Soldiers, which has a database of 12,000 servicemen who served during the conflict, has focused on the Warminster men who were in the battle.

It was launched on Thursday and will be in place until 1pm this coming Friday.

The exhibition is part of Warminster Town Council’s programme of events marking the First World War centenary with activities running over the next four years.

Warminster town clerk Heather Abernethie said: “This is all based on information on Warminster and surrounding villages so I’m sure it will very popular.

"I think the exhibition is fantastic and the council wanted to do something special to commemorate the war.

“We have a four-year programme of activities which we think respectfully pays tribute to those who served.”

The exhibition homes a gas chamber and field hospital. It has low roofs, little light and hanging fake rats to give a small flavour of what a First World War trench was like.

Historian and author Richard Broadhead, who runs Wiltshire Soldiers, said: “This tells the story of Warminster and the villages around it as well as the story of why we went to war.

"There’s a slight uncomfortable feeling I like to create as part of the exhibition to make the visitors feel like they were there in the trenches.”

So far this year Mr Broadhead has held exhibitions in Swindon, Trowbridge and Calne.

Volunteers are helping to guide visitors around the Warminster Civic Centre attraction.

Guide Jean Holden said: “I find the whole thing very interesting even though the war was 100 years ago it doesn’t feel that long ago as I grew up with my parents who had memories of it. I think the exhibition looks fantastic and I’ve told all my friends to come and visit.”

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