Trench warfare came to life in southern Manitoba on Sunday.

Dozens of families experienced what it was like inside simulated military ditches that Canadian soldiers used during the First World War.

The experience showed off the incredible hardship soldiers endured on the front lines, everything from gas attacks, to sniper shootings and filthy living conditions.

Bruce Tascona has been a military historian for 35 years. He created The Manitoba World War I Museum as a retirement project, and built the trenches in an effort to share how soldiers fought during battles in Europe between 1914 and 1918 with Manitobans.

Tascona hosted the museum’s third Annual Heritage Day, ‘A Day in the Trenches’.

About 250 people attended with visitors from Brandon, Morden, Winkler , Dauphin and Winnipeg.

"I would say I’m very passionate about it, and it's all about remembering a legacy,” said Tascona from his property in La Rivière.

A legacy for Canada formed at battles like at Vimy Ridge. Soldiers in the trenches there became known for their bravery and perseverance.

Soldiers didn't just fight in the trenches, the ditches also served as living quarters -- small, smelly and filled with vermin.

If a soldier was lucky enough to make it out alive, the soldier would get to recoup, and sleep in a tent on rotation.

"They were heading to their death almost,” said 9-year-old volunteer Layne Conrad. “They were pretty brave,” he added.

It's a bravery young visitors soaked in and loved, but didn’t want to actually try.

"You know it will get flooded and muddy, and as soon as gas hits there is very little chance of surviving," said Jace Zacharis.