To commemorate the centenary of the battle of the Somme, Powis Castle will be exploring the story of Percy, Viscount Clive, 4th Earl of Powis’ eldest son and an officer in the Welsh Guard.

Visitors will be transported back to life in World War One as they step into the replica Somme trench and officers dug out. Through period newsreels, battlefield objects and replica food packaging they will get a sense for what it was to live as a soldier on the front line. “By recreating a section of WWI trench we hope to immerse visitors in the WWI story, bringing to life the turmoil experienced by Clive and other soldiers at the time” says Gareth Sandham, Powis’ House and Collections Manager.

Percy Clive was born into a life of wealth and privilege. A new heir brought fresh hope to the estates: there were huge celebrations across the family lands in Powys and Shropshire at the time of his birth, although his coming-of-age revelries were curtailed by the outbreak of war. Clive joined the newly formed Welsh Guards in 1915, and served as an officer in the War.  He was involved in heavy fighting in the second battle of Ypres, and later in the Somme offensive at Flers-Courcelette, he was seriously injured, brought back to hospital in London, but later died. He was 23 years old.

From diary entries made by the Countess of Powis, Clive’s mother, and other sources, his tragic story on the battlefield and the emotions of his family who remained at home, have been pieced together. His death in 1916 was the first of a sequence of family tragedies that led to the Castle passing into the care of the National Trust in 1952.

The installation continues until 30 September 2016.