Life in the Trenches of World War I
Daily routines in the trenches For all the soldiers in the trenches, life was extremely difficult and they had a lot of chores that they had to do. They were not just firing and attacking the enemy. They were rotated between three lines, front line, support line and reserve line as well as a short period of rest then it began again. Daily routines in trenches would vary between regions, nationalities, and individual platoons, but they were generally similar. The soldiers would regularly rotate through a basic sequence of fighting in the front line, followed by a period of time in the reserve or support line, then a rest period. Each morning and evening, before dawn and dusk, men on both sides would climb up onto the fire-step with .
Afterwards, if there had not been an assault, they gathered for riutine, breakfast, and the daily rum ration. Following morning stand-to, inspection, and breakfast, soldiers undertook any number of chores, ranging from cleaning latrines to filling sandbags or repairing duckboards.
In between work fatigues, there was often time for leisure activities. Soldiers read, kept journals, wrote letters, or gambled. Nighttime in the trenches was both the busiest and the most dangerous. Here, work parties repaired barbed wire or dug new trenches. More aggressive operations involved patrolling for enemy activity or conducting raids to kill or capture enemy troops or to gather intelligence. Even in the so-called quiet moments, trench life witnessed a steady trickle of death and maiming.
Canada and the First World War. Day-to-Day Work Following morning stand-to, inspection, and breakfast, soldiers undertook any number of chores, ranging from cleaning latrines to filling sandbags or repairing duckboards. Dangerous Nighttime Activity Nighttime in the trenches dakly both the busiest and the most dangerous. A Steady Trickle of Death Even in the so-called quiet moments, trench life witnessed a steady trickle of death and maiming.
Soldiers in the Trenches: World War One
Life in the trench, the infantry’s home for much of the war, involved a day-to-day routine of work and leisure. “Stand-to” at Dawn. Each dawn, the usual time for an enemy attack, soldiers woke to “stand-to,” guarding their front line trenches. Daily Routine. A day in the trenches would begin with the Stand-to- Arms, before dawn soldiers would assemble and head to the fire step and fire infront of them this was called the “morning hate”. Waves of soldiers clambering out of their trenches into a hail of gunfire and We all know the stories of the horror of trench warfare in the First World War.
Men fought together and men died together, the battles raged on and on and much blood was spilled. If you were lucky enough to survive the bullets, disease and infection were also on hand and took the lives of many a soldier. Life in the trenches was never going to be easy and even in the chaos of battle the soldiers still had to follow a daily routine on top of keeping the enemy at bay. Dodging bullets and enemy shell fire every minute of every day may have been routine enough for most of the soldiers but the trenches had to be maintained and fixed, if the soldiers were to try and increase their chances of survival, after all if the trenches were left alone they would quickly deteriorate and offer little or no protection from the enemy.
German troops on the first "Stand too" of the day. Oscar Tellgmann wikimedia Commons Public Domain. A soldier in the trenches would begin his day around one hour before sun up with the morning "Stand too" he would be woken up an sent to the "Fire step", with his bayonet attached to his rifle, on guard duty in case of a dawn raid from the enemy.
Dawn raids were common in the trenches from both sides although it was common knowledge that both sides were prepared for them. As daylight broke over the trenches, machine guns, Shells and even some hand guns would be fired toward the enemy lines, this was thought by most as a weapons test but others were of the opinion that it was a way for the soldiers to relieve some of the stress that was building up in side them.
The first hour of daylight became known as "The morning Hate" by the men in the trenches. After the morning "Stand too" the soldiers would be issued with a tot of rum before they cleaned their weapons before the morning inspection by senior officers. With the inspection over it was time for breakfast, unofficially breakfast time in the trenches was a time of cease fire which both sides became to respect for most of the time.
The truce was broken on some occasions though, usually when a senior officer new to the trenches heard about it and ordered the men to open fire on enemy lines. After breakfast the soldiers would face an inspection by their commanding officer, this was followed by the daily chores, each man would be given a specific chore. Daily chores included the refilling of sandbags, the repair of the duckboards on the floor of the trench or the draining of trenches, repairing the trenches and preparing the latrines.
One man takes time out to read as two men work on repairing some sand bags. United Kingdom Government wikimedia commons Public Domain. During the afternoon, unless there was a heavy battle taking place the men in the trenches took it in turns to man the fire step. The men who were lucky enough not to be on guard duty were allowed some time to themselves to either catch up on some sleep, read or write letters from home or enjoy some games even although movement was restricted in the trenches.
Snipers were set up in lookout posts and would fire at the enemy and the first sight of movement, you had to keep your head down in the trenches no matter what you were doing for fear of being shot. Opposing snipers used to play a game with each other raising a helmet above the trench to see if the enemy could hit it with a bullet. Some inventive soldiers used the materials around them to make useful or ornamental objects which has since become known as trench art, trench art is highly collectible on the antique market today.
Canadian soldiers manage to get a break and relax for a while in the trenches. As darkness approached the men were sent on their second "Stand too" of the day again bayonets fixed in preparation for surprise attacks from enemy lines.
When the darkness of night came the trenches came to life, men were sent to the rear to bring up vital supplies such as food, ammunition, water, medical and maintenance equipment. Unless there was a full scale battle going on the length of time a man was allowed to stay on the firing step was two hours before being replaced, this was in case he fell asleep on duty. Falling asleep at your post was a capital offence and could see the offender face death by firing squad.
Patrols into no-mans land would also be carried out under cover of darkness, to repair breaks in the barbed wire and some were sent out as "Listening posts" hoping to overhear information from the enemy. Sometimes enemy patrols would meet in No Man's Land. They were then faced with the option of hurrying on their separate ways or else engaging in hand to hand fighting. They could not afford to use their handguns whilst patrolling in No Man's Land, for fear of the machine gun fire it would inevitably attract, deadly to all members of the patrol.
The cover of darkness also allowed the front line troops to be changed over, those who had completed their tour of duty would be swapped over with fresh troops. I have to do a video project on life in the trenches Thanks for posting this! For my homework we have to do a model of a ww1 trench and this helped a lot thanks i have to do it by myself though cause my so called friend ditched me. Why war? That is brilliant thank you! I don't know what i would have done without it!
Hi Saraah, I wrote an article concerning writing a letter from the trenches hope it helps Really good this! Very interesting:D! I'm have to wrote a letter from world war one back to home, know anything that would help? Guys, I need this guy's name for my history essay and date of this text, I can't figure out.
Guys, I need this guy's name for my essay and date of this text, I can't figure out. Wow, this was all the information i needed to help me with my history assesstment : Thanks A Lot :D xx. War is a painful thing, where lots of innocent lives are taken for some ones mistakes and greediness. Thought of sharing with you I have a thousand word essay to write plus a diary, this helped me a lot i recommend this to evey one who needs help, thank-you so much xo Luv You and Bill xo.
Are these phtos real?? I have the same photo framed in my house as it's my great grandpa's photo. Thnx for putting that photo.. The World War 1 must have been terrifying to all who experienced it but a lot of heroes rose to that occasion.
Thanks This helped I have an essay in two day's and this helped me allot! Thank-you x x. Thank-you for this information. I'm extracting certain bits for my History assessment and rewording it.
Tnnx a lot thi really helped with my history assessment and gave me all of the ibnformation i needed to get top level! Personal Finance. Trench Routine. Related Articles. By Ian Spike. By Manhar Puri. By Nithya Venkat. By Shafqat M.
Books, Literature, and Writing. By Franchesca. By Margaret Minnicks. Visiting Asia. By Linda Sue Grimes. By Tranquilheart. By mikec