For most people, the phrase ‘First World War’ conjures up images of deep, waterlogged trenches and mud-spattered soldiers. But what was trench life really like? In this episode, those who survived it describe their experiences. The trenches could be a shock to those who knew little about them in advance. Walter Hare of the West Yorkshire Regiment first went into the front line in December 1916.
B.C. high school students are commemorating the 100th anniversary of Armistice by making a documentary on soldiers living in trenches.
A video showing the soldiers' experience in WWI
Thousands of miles of trenches were built during World War I and, for the soldiers living in them, their day-to-day life was nothing short of horrific
What was life like in the trenches of World War I? Soldiers lived in narrow trenches dug into the ground. The conditions were horrible.
WWI was one of the most catastrophic events in human history. But soldiers at the front lines who spent life in the trenches lived through a particularly harrowing war experience. Their stories reveal an experience that was often bleak, but also movingly human.
The traumata of warfare were certainly nothing new when World War 1 broke out. But the extreme and prolonged exposure to machine gun fire, artillery bombardments and trench warfare led to a new kind of psychological disorder: Shell Shock. Soldiers who were perfectly fine on the outside, were incapable of fighting or living a normal life anymore.
Seale Hayne Military Hospital in Devon takes in World War 1 soldiers suffering from shell shock and helps them recover through various methods. Traumatised soldiers symptoms included staggering, shuffling, twitching, dancing, and shaking. After treatment the men’s symptoms are alleviated.
In early 1916, life in the trenches was considered more comfortable by many Australian troops. For those who had served on Gallipoli, the conditions on the Western Front seemed very different. Billets were within 2 kilometres of the front. There were army canteens selling groceries, tobacco and clothing, and the men could buy champagne and beer from the closest estaminet.