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Life of a WWI Soldier. Living in the trenches. A look inside the trenches. Trench Rats. Trench Foot. Constant exposure to water and mud did not allow the feet to dry. Many times they became numb and eventually, the tissue of the foot died. British troops began coating the feet with wax.

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life of a wwi soldier

Life of a WWI Soldier

Living in the trenches

trench foot
Trench Foot

Constant exposure to water and mud did not allow the feet to dry. Many times they became numb and eventually, the tissue of the foot died. British troops began coating the feet with wax.

trench lice
Trench Lice…
  • Men in the trenches suffered from lice. One soldier writing after the war described them as "pale fawn in colour, and they left blotchy red bite marks all over the body." They also created a sour; stale smell. Various methods were used to remove the lice. A lighted candle was fairly effective but the skill of burning the lice without burning your clothes was only learnt with practice. George Coppard described how this worked: "The things lay in the seams of trousers, in the deep furrows of long thick woolly pants, and seemed impregnable in their deep entrenchments. A lighted candle applied where they were thickest made them pop like Chinese crackers. After a session of this, my face would be covered with small blood spots from extra big fellows which had popped too vigorously."
machine guns
Machine Guns
  • Unlike today, machine guns were not the main weapons of soldiers. They needed 4-6 men to operate them in 1914 and they had to be positioned on a flat surface. They could fire up to 400 rounds per minute.