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A partir d’une documentation fournie par nos amis Canadiens

The Camp Hughes Trenches Self-Guided Tour

The Camp Hughes Trenches Self-Guided Tour

by l’administrateur du site

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

The Camp Hughes trench system was developed in 1916 to teach soldiers the lessons of trench
warfare which had been learned through great sacrifice on the battlefields of France and Flanders.
Veterans were brought back to Canada to instruct in the latest techniques. The trenches accurately
replicated the scale and living arrangements for a battalion of 1000 men. They were designed to
match the lay of the land and use geography to their advantage. On the Western Front the Germans
were known to occupy the “high ground”—with that in mind the Canadian Engineers built the Camp
Hughes Trenches. Each network of trenches faces the enemy trench uses geography to conceal their

  • Feature #1 Headquarters of Main Trench System
    “ Dulmage Dugout”
    This feature was Battalion Headquarters of the Main Trench
    Network. (See start Point) It was here that the troops entering the
    trenches would receive their munitions and rations.
  • Feature #2 The Communication Trenches
    There are two main long communication trenches (known on map as White and Green Trench)
    leading up to a line of support and front-line trenches. All along the route dugouts with thick earth
    overhead cover housed the troops and protected them from artillery fire. A communication trench
    was designated to move soldiers and supplies to and from the front line to the rear.
    “Hughes Highway” This feature begins (on map known
    as White Trench) has several diamond like trenches
    known as island traverses along its route. These were to
    serve as a reserve trench in the event of a successful
    assault by the enemy.
  • Feature #3 “The Covering or Support Trench”
    Known as the “Red Trench” this trench parallels the
    front line. It has fire bays to cover or support the front
    line from attack. At each of these bays is found a dugout
    that would house the reserve troops and shelter them
    from enemy artillery and small arms fire. Looking
    southward one can observe that this trench system is
    concealed from the enemy.
  • Feature #4 The Communication Trenches
    between the Support Trench and the Front Line
    These four communication trenches (known as the
    Yellow trench on the Map) between the cover
    trench and the front-line held many dugouts housing
    the various company units. They were very narrow
    and were built for movement of supplies from the
    front to rear.
  • Feature #5 The Front-line Trench
    This feature known as the “Blue Trench” on the
    Map extended over 1000 metre frontage situated on
    the reverse slope of a flat area known as no-man’s
    Immediately below this trench one finds a fairly
    linear trench with dugouts below the fire trench.
    This was a “travelling trench” totally concealed
    from the enemy designed to move troops safely from
    end of the trench to the other end.
    Once established, the battalion would undergo training in daily routine, sentries, listening posts,
    trench clearing, and finally, a frontal assault on the "enemy" by going over the top and across no-
    man’s-land into the enemy line of trenches.
  • Feature #6 The Enemy Trenches
    As you leave the safety of the Canadian trench you march
    towards a small hill-like feature crossing “no-man” One cannot help but feel exposed to the possible
    danger of attacking in no-man’s land. The enemy on the Western Front began constructing circular
    like defensive trenches known as “stellungs” occupying redoubt like features as their focal
    point.Feature #6 trenches replicates this concept of defence. When you look to the main Canadian
    Trench system one cannot help but notice how the trenches at Camp Hughes reflected the reality of
    trench warfare on the Western Front. Most of the Canadian trenches are concealed and movement of
    their troops are hardly noticeable.
  • Map of Trench Network
  • Easy Access Route is for those who are bit challenged in walking.
  • Regular Route is for those who are able to climb up and down the trenches.

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