Dating stories trenches
Sir John French, the commander of the British Expeditionary Force, ordered the Tommies to spade-away likewise in September The French poilus followed suit.By December the trenches were a continuous 450-mile set of parallel excavations from Nieuport to Freiburg, with the warring sides separated by No-Man’s Land.Everybody smoked, all the time, with Woodbines the favoured cigarette, though such curious wartime brands as Glory Boys and Ruby Queen, with green tobacco, were easier to obtain.Smoking could kill you in more ways than one; the lighted end of a cigarette was a beacon to Hun snipers.Alas, the geology of Flanders was imperfect: The high water-table led to trenches disconcertingly filling up with water.
Private Harry Drinkwater, a former shop assistant, reckoned on “approximately an hour’s sleep a day” in December 1915, what with the cold as well: “It’s not the Germans we’re fighting it’s the weather.”Sanitary arrangements could be primitive.
Lieutenant Alexander Gillespie made a little flower garden at the back of his Ypres trench and lay there enjoying the blooms. For days there might be quiet on the Western Front, save for a lazy shell or two.