Chance to experience life in Great War trench in Hartlepool

John Sadler from Time Bandits in the WW1 Trench
John Sadler from Time Bandits in the WW1 Trench

THE public can experience what life was like in the trenches for World War One troops this weekend.

A mock replica of a trench returns to Hartlepool tomorrow as part of a series of events to commemorate this year’s centenary of the start of the Great War.

People can visit the creation at the Grayfields sports pavilion, off Jesmond Gardens, Hartlepool, between 6pm-8pm on Saturday.

Members of historical interpretation group Time Bandits will be present in military costume.

They will be exhibiting war artefacts and bringing alive the stories of those who served in the conflict.

The group will also be conducting sessions throughout Saturday daytime – minus the trench – based around a mobile learning pod.

These will feature dramatic scenarios acted out in period costume, the chance to view and handle objects from the time and other interactive activities.

The first of these will take place at the town’s Asda store, in Marina Way, between 9am-noon before the group moves inside Middleton Grange Shopping Centre between 1.30pm-4.30pm.

Time Bandits’ visit is the latest in a series of events run both in town and across the Tees Valley as part of the Remembering Our War initiative.

The area’s five local authorities have secured nearly £400,000 in Arts Council 
England funding to commemorate the conflict throughout 2014.

The Mail is also marking the anniversary with a series of articles and commemorative supplements throughout 20014.

Our coverage will culminate on December 16 with the centenary of the Bombardment of Hartlepool by the German Navy.

One hundred and nineteen military personel, civilians and children were killed and around 200 injured when four vessels shelled the town from the North Sea at around 8am.

It was the first direct attack on Britain during the conflict and is also regarded as the first battle to take place on the mainland since the English Civil War ended in 1651.

l If you have Great War memorabilia or a story about a local relative who served or was caught up in the conflict then please contact our newsdesk on (01429) 239380.