Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Plans for "duckboards"?


4thGordons

Recommended Posts

Does anyone have plans/diagrams for "duckboards" (slatted wooden sections used for making pathways, lining trenches and/or as a source of heating!!) that they could share? I assume many were fabricated in situ and with whatever was to hand but I would also assume that there were probably "official patterns" for mass production. Photos in which they are clear enough to allow me to copy the design from would be fine too. I have several field fortification manuals but can't find anything on this.

Cheers

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

there are many official designs, here is one. If you need more PM me.

Chris Henschke

post-671-1175232463.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Made from the same design last month.

post-671-1175233983.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brilliant - thanks Chris

out of interest how long did it take you to make it?

PM will follow

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 metres (5 duckboards) 2 men = 4 hours. one was made using fencing wire to help make it less slippery, one was covered with rabbit wire for the same reason - both common methods during the war.

Chris Henschke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The diagram is from Manual of Field Engineering Vol. 1 (All Arms) 1933. The dimensions are the same as a blueprint produced by Australian Corps Workshops in very late 1917, but the diagram is much clearer.

The labour constant is from personal experience.

Chris Henschke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a very impressive piece of work Chris, and looks just like some surviving excavated examples I've seen - though they do tend to shrivel up when they dry out.

Is that a pantomime horse in the background for testing the load-bearing capability?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No pantomine horses were allowed as I could not find any costumes that were attributable and verifiable as Great War era. We did use metric nails, however.

Chris Henschke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

'3. Trench Board Tracks.

These are absolutely essential particularly in bad weather. If possible they should be double throughout and a broad board 3’ wide with 3 longitudinals is considered the best but owing to the exigencies of the situation it is generally necessary to lay a single track first. A single track is too narrow particularly for Stretcher Bearers and for everyone in the dark. They should be laid on trestles to lift them out of the mud and time spent in doing this when constructing is well repaid when the question of maintenance arises.

In bad weather all duckboards should be wired before leaving the yard and should be wired with stout No. 8 wire. Wirenetting is very unsatisfactory as it wears away and the last state is worse than the first. If netting has to be used each board should be covered separately, otherwise shells will tear out a large gap instead of only one or two boards.'

Extracts from the Engineer remarks – Lessons from Recent Operations.

First Australian Division, App. IV, dated 5th November, 1917.

Chris Henschke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the additional information Chris.

If all goes to plan I will be constructing some in the summer.

thanks again

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...