Take a trip back in history and explore life on the front line
February 16, 2016 / Sharnie Carter
Trenches were where most of the fighting took place in World War 1. They were long, narrow ditches in the ground, where soldiers lived all day and night. There were lines of German trenches on one side and lines of Allied trenches on the other.
Sleeping was hard for soldiers in trenches; they didn’t get much of it! If they did it would have been in the afternoon, during daylight and occasionally at night for an hour at a time. They were woken up to complete their daily chores or to fight. In their free time they played cards and wrote letters.
Trenches would have been very muddy and smelly. Dead bodies were located nearby and their toilets sometimes overflowed into the trenches. Millions of rats infested the trenches and lice irritated soldiers. Trench foot was also a big problem. As the trenches flooded, the cold water and mud blackened the foot and caused the death of surface tissue. This was a painful condition for soldiers.
November 29, 1915 Diary Entry:
It has teemed. The trenches are ankle deep – some places calf deep – in mud and the communications trenches are rushing streams of brown water. The men are wet through but stick the job like Britons and I hope for their sake that the weather lifts with the morning. The guns have been strafing today, though up till now we have dodged the show. It may be ours again tomorrow though. One never knows – Captain Charlie May