Food – appalling rations make things worse than ever!
We have all read that every soldier in the trenches is getting 10oz meat and 8oz vegetables every day. Well this is just not true. Rations have been cut severely and few soldiers see meat more than none times in thirty days. Most solders are living on cans of bully beef and dried biscuits. Sometimes things are so bad that bread made with turnips and pea soup with horsemeat are the only food available.
Poisonous gas – death by breathing!!
It has been revealed that from April 1915, shells containing poisonous gases have been used to bombard the trenches. Gases like chlorine, phosgene and mustard gas have been used. In small doses these gases cause the eyes to water and diffculty breathing. Those exposed to higher levels develop blisters on the skin and in the lungs. Many die a slow and painful death
there is nowhere to bury the bodies. Many soldiers also suffer from fungal infections like trench foot (see the photo below) and trench mouth because of the damp conditions they live in. They cannot wash and their clothes are nearly always wet.
A soldiers true story:
“I was asleep in a bunk bed in the foxhole. The person on the top bunk was infested with lice. During the night I was woken by water dripping on my face. I moved to one side but the drops got heavier and felt funny. I then discovered that what was falling wasn’t water but lice from the bed above me.”
Interview with a young soldier:
One young soldier spoke to me about his experiences. Like so many, he had lied about his age and was only 16 (born in 1899) when we spoke. His name is Ernest Albert Taylor (seen here in his uniform at home in West Sussex).
“ I have been living in deep thick mud, up to my knees. As you can smell for yourself, this has a stench of rotting dead bodies. I have a fourth layer of skin made of lice. Even worse I have seen my friend die – he was standing next to me and his head was blown off. Sometimes you think you will go mad. I hope this war will be the last in my lifetime”
Trenches of Torture!
Whilst we are here in England, sitting in our comfy homes, the Grenade has discovered the shocking conditions that our soldiers are living in on the Western Front. What are things really like in “the Trenches” – read on if you dare….
How the trenches are built
The trenches have been dug to protect our soldiers from enemy artillery and small arms fire as they move forward into enemy areas. The trenches are quite complicated structures as you can see from the diagram below.