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Help! For a WW1 Trench project. Does anybody have the dimensions for a length of Ducboarding as used in the trenches of WW1, I need to know what was the standard length, width and the size of the timbers also the width, thickness and spacing of the cross timbers. I know some duckboards have been taken out of some excavated trenches near Ypres but don't have any measurements.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Bill

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varlet_duckboards.jpg

DSC00580.JPG

These are displayed at Varlet Farm. http://www.varletfarm.com/en/index.htm

They don't look "standardised" to me, more like "Get some wood & make duckboards for these trenches"

The Sappers would thus get wood of the right size, give or take, saw to fit & nail together. What's your local timbermerchant got? Just eyeballing them, I'd say the struts are 4" square, the slats 1.5" thick 4" wide 18-20" long. 6 foot lengths?

A00007.jpg

Couple of lucky souls carrying them.

This bloke's probably your best source of info.

http://www.warhistoryonline.com/articles/24hr-trench-mark-barnes-spends-the-day-with-the-author-andy-robertshaw.html

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varlet_duckboards.jpg

DSC00580.JPG

These are displayed at Varlet Farm. http://www.varletfarm.com/en/index.htm

They don't look "standardised" to me, more like "Get some wood & make duckboards for these trenches"

The Sappers would thus get wood of the right size, give or take, saw to fit & nail together. What's your local timbermerchant got? Just eyeballing them, I'd say the struts are 4" square, the slats 1.5" thick 4" wide 18-20" long. 6 foot lengths?

A00007.jpg

Couple of lucky souls carrying them.

This bloke's probably your best source of info.

http://www.warhistoryonline.com/articles/24hr-trench-mark-barnes-spends-the-day-with-the-author-andy-robertshaw.html

 

Hi, Thanks for the info. I think you're right - knocked up from what was around. I'll go down to the sawmill at the weekend and see what I can find

All the best

Bill

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Just to save a bit of money, how about using old pallets for a source of wood? Might be OK for the slats.

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Made using the 'anything that comes to hand' principle.

 

I'd guess that some, at least, were just made up from the remains of supply crates or whatever.

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I think the slats are a bit more substantial than packing crate material. They'd need to solidly support a man (with his hobnail boots), plus his kit & carrying heaven knows what else. Trench mortar, Vickers MG, ammo, rations. So they'd need to be solid.

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Without checking, I think the duckboars and revetting were produced, behind the lines by Chinise workers. The trench dimensions were supposedley standard so the duck boards would have been the same. Remeber that they were mounted on an inveted A frame so that , in theory, water would run underneath.

 

http://www.1914-1918.net/intrenches.htm

Edited by Tony B

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Just to save a bit of money, how about using old pallets for a source of wood? Might be OK for the slats.

Good suggestion Robert. I'll check out our local Pallet re-cycler.

Thanks

Bill

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Thanks for the information Guy. Andy Robertshaw and Staffordshire look to be best bet. I'll keep you informed of progress.

Bill:-):-)

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