Living in a trench no picnic, say volunteers in Port Moody history event

Getting ready for Canada Day at McKnight trench at the Port Moody Station Museum. - DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Getting ready for Canada Day at McKnight trench at the Port Moody Station Museum.

As history projects go, this is one of the more challenging.

Three men have to sleep in a trench on planks of wood between damp walls of dirt. There's little to occupy their time except for reading turn-of-the century military history books, playing cards and telling stories. Food is cooked over a brick fireplace and it's definitely not gourmet.

As for sleep? Forget about it.

Honouring Veterans


"I guess we're getting about 20 minutes at a time," says Guy Black, a Port Moody resident who dreamed up the idea of re-creating WW i trench living conditions as a way to remember the contributions of Canadian soldiers, including Port Moody engineer Augustus McKnight, who was killed in battle in WW I.

"Tonight we're going to make it more authentic. We're going to catch some lice," joked Cary Price, a friend of Black's. They

Lucas Wald, Guy Black, Cary Price get ready to play a game of cards.

met as members of the Western Command Military Vehicle Historical Society: Black owns a military jeep and Price owns a Korean-war era ambulance.

They've been joined in the trench by Lucas Wald, and a few other volunteers have stopped by as well, including David Beale, who brought an authentic WW I machine gun to the living history event.

However, Black is quick to point out that the the McKnight living history event isn't about glorifying war but to remember the importance of peace and the thousands of Canadians who were killed in WW I, and subsequent wars.

Price also thinks it's important to remember the sacrifices of WW I vets, as the 100th anniversary of the start of the war is commemorated world-wide, and to remember that WW I was also an important milestone in Canada's development as a country. "Many people believe that Canada became a nation in WW I," Price said.

Boys at McKnight Trench
Cameron and Sean Black.

Wald, who is only 16 and a cadet, said the night spent out in the open without a tent or blankets was difficult but worth it to understand and be part of Canada's history.

Tonight, June 30, the men will spend another night out in the open in the McKnight Trench, but will be ready and fresh in uniform on Canada Day to take part in special ceremonies and a military display.

There will be military bands, and antique military vehicles, including a working tank. At approximately 10 a.m., a canon will be "fired" as part of the exhibit.

The program, Honouring Veterans, will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Port Moody Station Museum, located next to Rocky Point Park, which is hosting Golden Spike Days.


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Community Events, April 2015

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Apr 22 edition online now. Browse the archives.