WWI trenches in Pollok park

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This summer, Allied and German trench systems from the First World War will be built in Pollok Country Park, costing almost £100,000.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded an education grant of £99,600 to a partnership of education bodies.

Work on the reconstructions will begin in August and will open to the public on Saturday, September 19, during Doors Open Week.

Continuing until November 2018, the so-called “Digging-In” project will host a regular programme of public events and school visits.

Hands-on learning activities and living history events will help convey how soldiers managed life in the hostile, stressful environment of the Western Front and the conflict’s impact on communities on the Home Front.

A spokeswoman said: “The reconstructions will serve as a hub for learning about many aspects of the war: its impact on mental health; the role of women during the conflict; advances in medicine, technology, aerial photography and mapping; influences on contemporary art and literature, and the origins of the Forestry Commission.”

Teaching packs will complement classroom learning and Curriculum for Excellence.

There will be field manuals that were issued to troops as well as soldiers’ diaries and evidence from excavations on the Western Front.

During wartime, Pollok House was used as an auxiliary hospital for convalescing soldiers and, later, erected a memorial commemorating the 58 people from the estate who served in the conflict.

Dr Tony Pollard, Director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow, whose excavation work of war trenches informs the Digging-In project, said: ‘As a conflict archaeologist who has excavated trenches and graves on the Western Front, I know it is impossible to step back in time and fully appreciate what it was like to have been there during the Great War. But I am really looking forward to Digging-In, and applying what I have learned in helping to create a unique learning environment, within which it will be possible for visitors to get a visceral insight into the semi-subterranean world in which soldiers lived and, in so many cases, died.’

Digging-In will also complement Glasgow City Council’s rolling First World War Commemoration programme, an initiative of the lord provost, as well as the University of Glasgow’s Great War Project, informed by the University archives on the 761 staff and students who died in the conflict.

Stewart’s Melville College will provide key educational resources on the war.

Somme trenches pictures courtesy of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology, Glasgow University.

Pollok House, pictured, is one of the mansionhouses featured in the book The Country Houses, Castles and Mansions of Renfrewshire by John Fyfe Anderson.