IMG_1700This exhibit is intended to promote an important part of Canadian history and pay tribute to our former engineer and resident, Augustus McKnight. The message we hope the trench will clearly convey is peace and remembrance.

Biography of Lieutenant Augustus Wilberforce McKnight – Augustus Wilberforce McKnight was born in Owen Sound Ontario on August 1, 1888, where he lived with his parents, brothers and sisters. After graduating in 1910 as a Military Engineer from the Royal Military College in Kingston Ontario, he travelled west to help with the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.IMG_1349

Sometime Later McKnight went to British Columbia where he became the assistant City Engineer in Prince Rupert, and then worked with an engineering company in Vancouver, becoming a member (number 138) of the provincial Land Surveyors Association.  Finally Augustus McKnight moved to the City of Port Moody settling down and becoming a city engineer.

Augustus McKnight was an active citizen of Port Moody where he was a member of the civilian rifle association team and the tennis club’s executive committee and local Scout Leader.

In 1914 McKnight resigned from his position with the city of Port Moody and was commissioned with the rank of Lieutenant in North Vancouver’s 6th Field Company Canadian Engineers. He went overseas with the 2nd Overseas Contingent ending up in France and Flanders with 4th Field Company, Divisional Engineers.  On August 11, 1916 Lieutenant Augustus Wilberforce McKnight was fatally wounded, he was buried at Reninghelst New Military Cemetery in Belgium.



Watch as our trench keeps growing, as generous donations help with wood (Mill & Timber), donation of balling wire (Wavor Wire Ltd. ), and the help of the 6th Field Sqn Army cadets.

This blog will chart the progress of the trench project, delivers updates of events and deliver background information on the trench and world war one.

(Please use your browser back and forward buttons to navigate the blog)



To donate cash or supplies, contact Jim Millar at the Port Moody Station Museum at 604-939-1648






















  1. Thank you to the Port Moody Station Museum for allowing the trench gang to create our one of a kind display. We are busy every Saturday working on building the trench and we hope to have it completed by April 2015.

    Work continues, lots of digging and shoring and things are quickly progressing. We welcome all visitors who would like to have a look or help. We especially are in need of supplies, new wood, nails, screws and money. We expect the trench to use 500 sandbags each years since they will be replaced annually, the burlap material just does not last. The sandbags used on our old trench actually fell apart after 2 months.

    Another request, if you have any information about any Port Moody resident that served in the First World War, I would like to find out more about that person and their life.

    For more info please contact the museum or email Guy

  2. Sunday December 7th
    Another update on our work at the trench, we recently received a large donation of wood from Port Moody’s Mill and Timber. This will ensure the project continues and has actually kept this work alive. We also received a large box of nails and several hundred 3 foot long boards from several local residents (Thank You), we have been busy putting the wood and nails to good use.

    Our usual work day is all day Saturday and sometimes on Sundays, our trench building team works very well and yesterday we had a full contingent on site, Jim Millar, Marcus, Cary, Allan, Sonny and myself. We welcome anyone that would like to join us, bring a hammer, your lunch and be willing to get dirty and work as a team member.

    Our observation post is almost complete and it more or less matches the example shown in our trench building book – “Manual of Field Works 1921”. The manual came from the 6 Field Engineer Museum in North Vancouver. Another feature of our trench is A frame shoring which allows for quicker shoring work of the trench walls. The first section of frames were successfully built yesterday by Jim and Marcus and they will do a good job of keeping the duck boards slightly elevated off the mud/dirt trench floor. Our good friend Sonny was busy making sure the work site was safe and he did a considerable amount of work on the duck boards trimming and cutting the 3 foot cedar boards.

    Our wish list,
    We are still in need of old corrugated steel for our trench walls, old worn out and with holes is what we are after. Also need more nails, any length, single strand barb wire, new sandbags – poly or burlap.and some tree logs 6 to 8 feet long and 4 to 8 inch diameter, not rotten.

    Thank you for your interest, and special thanks to those who have helped us with their donations of material, time and money. Guy Black

  3. Update from the Museum’s Sappers
    Work continues on the trench every weekend at the back of the museum, a small group of volunteers is busy building the trench display, named after Lieutenant McKnight who was one of our early town engineers, sadly killed on the Western Front in 1916.

    The trench has been dug and we are adding wood planking and posts to shore up the trench walls. We have been fortunate to receive a large amount of wood donated to us by the Mill & Timber Sawmill on Murray Street. We have also received several boxes of nails, galvanized bailing wire, screws and cedar boards. Everything will be put to good use and everything that we have received is greatly appreciated – Thank You !

    We are on the look out for some clean fill and rough logs, any timbers 3 inches in diameter up to 1 foot, minimum 6 foot length. Always appreciate cash donations, any amount is welcome.
    If you have something to donate to the 4 year trench display, please contact Jim at the museum.

    Upcoming, More new photos will be added to the website and we will post the names of the businesses and people that have helped us out. The North Vancouver Engineers will be out again soon to give us a hand with our construction work, it is an excellent field engineering experience for military engineers. The corps from North Vancouver is the same Canadian Engineer unit that McKnight had joined in 1914.

    Please drop over any Saturday for a look at the McKnight trench, all visitors are welcome, you can view the display from the two balconies at the museum.

    Merry Christmas to everyone, Guy Black

  4. Merry Christmas to All.
    The Trench builders are carrying on through the mud. An email Christmas card that fits with what we are doing is

    Best for 2015

  5. North Vancouver’s 2573 6 Engineer Squadron Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps joined the trench building today accompanied by constant rain and deep sticky mud. Trench boards (Duck Boards) were made, A-Frame shoring boards put together and some digging was done.

    Special News,
    The commanding officer Captain Kaj Boysen has accepted our invitation for his unit to be our affiliated Cadet Corps. We are honoured to have strengthened the connection with Lieutenant Augustus McKnight’s Engineer Unit. Our centennial trench is named in remembrance of Lt. Knight who was killed in action by a snipers bullet on August 11, 1916.

    With winter weather threatening to put a hold on our trench building we are working as much as we can to get things completed. We seem to be very close to finishing and plan to be back digging on January 1st and on our usual Saturdays.

    Things that are needed (Please)
    We are still looking for rough logs minimum 6 feet long with diameter 4 to 10 inches and clean fill plus a pick.

    Thank you everyone for your interest in our trench project and to the cadets and officers of 6 Engineer Sqn for your help.

  6. Jim Millar says:

    The Trench can be viewed from the back deck of the Museum during regular Museum open times: 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm Wednesday to Sunday; after Victoria Day, daily 10:00am to 5:00 pm. Also, if we are successful with grants to hire summer students, we hope to have guided tours in the Trench.
    Group tours are possible when booked in advance so that a volunteer guide can be arranged.
    Watch our blog for updates

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