ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • History & Archaeology»
  • History of the Modern Era»
  • Twentieth Century History

World war 1 A Day In The Trenches Of WW I

Updated on August 29, 2014

A Day In The Trenches During World War One

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.

Trench Routine

German troops on the first "Stand too" of the day.
German troops on the first "Stand too" of the day. | Source

World War 1

Morning Routine In the Trenches

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.

Trench Repairs

One man takes time out to read as two men work on repairing some sand bags.
One man takes time out to read as two men work on repairing some sand bags. | Source

Afternoon Routine In The Trenches

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.

Daily Rest In The Trenches

Canadian soldiers manage to get a break and relax for a while in the trenches.
Canadian soldiers manage to get a break and relax for a while in the trenches. | Source

Evening Routine 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.

Then it was time to start the daily routine again with the morning "Stand too"

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Brianns 6 years ago

      @CoolCat

      Lol ur comment was hilarious

    • profile image

      Seth-218 6 years ago

      Wow!!! Very in-depth. I liked it very much. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Akin corbitt hmu on facebook 6 years ago

      helped with my project

    • profile image

      kell bell 6 years ago

      how do you site this source????

    • profile image

      Waffles 6 years ago

      Thank you very much for your information. It has been a great help and very useful. :D

    • profile image

      tom  6 years ago

      helped a lot for my history exam thankyou for the information

    • profile image

      ALY:D 6 years ago

      Thank youuuuuuuuuuuu.

      This was soooooooo useful

    • profile image

      Amber007 6 years ago

      Thanks that really helped me a lot with my english assignment

    • profile image

      ttt111sss4445655 6 years ago

      this helped with english homework

      thanks

    • profile image

      boomboomHAH 6 years ago

      I have to do a video project on life in the trenches...this article helped me create a very accurate script. Thanks for posting this!

    • profile image

      Wowwee 6 years ago

      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

    • profile image

      'Ricardo' 6 years ago

      Why war? we are fighting us, we may be black or wight, fat or thin but we are one, we stand together to be strong, we are MAN

    • profile image

      brian 6 years ago

      thanks for the information about trench life

    • profile image

      Saraah 6 years ago

      That is brilliant thank you! I don't know what i would have done without it!:) You should make it into a book!:)x

    • jimmythejock profile image
      Author

      James Paterson 6 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Saraah, I wrote an article concerning writing a letter from the trenches hope it helps.....jimmy

      https://hubpages.com/education/World-War-1-A-Lette...

    • profile image

      Saraah 6 years ago

      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?x

    • profile image

      toribug 6 years ago

      im in 6th grade doing a project on ww1 and this helped me soooo much this website is awesome!

    • profile image

      Nicole  7 years ago

      thanks, this helped me so much with my history project, i really appreciate it :)

    • profile image

      Becca.A 7 years ago

      i think was very interesting,and also educational,many thanks to jimmy :) x

    • profile image

      KATIE  7 years ago

      really good info! but abit BORING! HAPPY CHRISTMAS

    • profile image

      Rachel 7 years ago

      Thankyou, this helped a lot!! :)

    • profile image

      Lolz 7 years ago

      TY TY TY

      this helped me with my history prodect on trench Warfare WW1 and it was a great help

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Laura 7 years ago

      i think that the many men gave up their life to fight for our country and they died for us

    • profile image

      Janine 7 years ago

      Guys, I need this guy's name for my history essay and date of this text, I can't figure out. some know how? please? :/

      by the way, very good !!! Helped a lot !!! (sorry for my english, I am from Brazil..) ahaha

    • profile image

      Janine 7 years ago

      Guys, I need this guy's name for my essay and date of this text, I can't figure out. some know how? please? :/

    • profile image

      isha 7 years ago

      Helped a lot with my course work

      Thanks :)

    • profile image

      isha 7 years ago

      Helped a lot with my history course work

      Thanhs :) xxxxxx

    • profile image

      kaushal 7 years ago

      helped a lot with my diary entry

    • profile image

      jade 7 years ago

      thanks this helped with my history homework a lot....

      iit filled up my report on life in the trenches :')

      jade.-x-

    • profile image

      KoolGirl2  7 years ago

      Thanks for the help with the information. It really helped!

    • profile image

      sophie  7 years ago

      thank you so much this hlped massivly with my homework couldn't of done it without you

      thanx

      -x-

    • profile image

      lUCY LEMON 7 years ago

      THANKS A lot

      GR3AT xxxxxxxx

    • profile image

      Fred :) 7 years ago

      cheeeeeeeeeerrrrzzzzzzzzzzz m8 helped alott

    • profile image

      some guy  7 years ago

      this helped me a lot with H/W

    • profile image

      gem 7 years ago

      the war is stupid cant they do it in discusion

    • profile image

      camille 7 years ago

      Thnx so much. Ma history project is done.:D

    • profile image

      Mel x 7 years ago

      Thanks this should help with my english essay :)

    • profile image

      wweytfty 7 years ago

      yes now i can finish my history stuff

    • profile image

      Usshh 7 years ago

      Wow, this was all the information i needed to help me with my history assesstment :) Thanks A Lot :D xx

    • profile image

      allah worshps me muslim scum 7 years ago

      pretty damn good

    • profile image

      john 7 years ago

      this has everything thank u sooo much!!!

    • profile image

      Megan :) 7 years ago

      oh, em, eff, gee, this page has everything im looking for! thankyouuuuuu!!!

    • profile image

      d-d-d-doin history hmewrk...... 7 years ago

      tyvm 4 all the info! im doin a history assessment and this is sooooo helpful!!!!!!! :P;P I used this whole page for all the info i need!

    • profile image

      Wooyoungi 7 years ago

      omg this is soooo helpful thnx a bunch!!! teehee!!

    • MythiliK profile image

      MythiliK 7 years ago from India --> Switzerland

      War is a painful thing, where lots of innocent lives are taken for some ones mistakes and greediness.

      I gave a reference to this hub in my hub about "Five Golden Indian Women with Foreign Origin". Thought of sharing with you :-)

    • profile image

      ..... 7 years ago

      thanks alot, very helpful with school work!! great site!

    • profile image

      BOB 7 years ago

      YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYYAYAy

      This helped me with my work a lot!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      iloveastonmerrygold 7 years ago

      thanks helped a lot with my work :) saved me a lot of time :) thanks again :)

    • profile image

      tom b is a durry 7 years ago

      beat it on your projects. 4 a4 pages is nothing, get over it

    • profile image

      Yr 9 person 7 years ago

      Really useful saved me a lot of time!

      Thanks so much :)

    • profile image

      tadhg conroy 7 years ago

      world war 1 was really sad PEOPLE DIED

    • profile image

      zzirGrizz 7 years ago

      OMG Thankksss so much this helped a lot for my english project

    • profile image

      tom b 7 years ago

      helped me a lot with me history project of 4 sides of a4

    • profile image

      Olivia xx 7 years ago

      really helped my with history hw

      thankyouuu

    • profile image

      luk8 7 years ago

      thanks had history project on ww1 trenches helped a lot cheers

    • profile image

      casey 7 years ago

      thxs u help me a lot

    • profile image

      ashlee'x;-) 7 years ago

      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

    • profile image

      jack oc 7 years ago

      Cheers I would be nowhere without this for my English essay!

    • profile image

      coooooooolllllllccccccccaaaaaaaattttt  7 years ago

      omg this website is the bomb lol get it the bomb... ya know like bomb in ww1 im sooooo creative with my comment :D

    • profile image

      Harrison 7 years ago

      Thanks a lot for putting this up it has helped me loads with my 5 page diary. =]

    • profile image

      Wanger 7 years ago

      this is a really good website :)

    • profile image

      Emily watson  7 years ago

      Are these phtos real?? because in one of these pictures, my great granpa is here. I have the same photo framed in my house as it's my great grandpa's photo. Thnx for putting that photo..

    • profile image

      mynameisjonas 7 years ago

      yaaaa boiiiii. dis is da gr8est ste i ever saww. thx 4 puttin' up dis artikle cuz loike, it got me a A on mah history testt.

      foshizzle.

      peace &luv boyzz, peace & luv.

      ffft fffft fffft ffftt

    • profile image

      felixrox 7 years ago

      good but too much info. needs more 'fun' if you know what i mean.

    • profile image

      inottellu 7 years ago

      lots of good info yes school were would they sleep???????????/

    • profile image

      school 7 years ago

      need more info about where the slept and where they went to the toilet

    • profile image

      MooMoocow 7 years ago

      thanks it has help me a lot with my homework i really could not think

    • profile image

      Emzonater  7 years ago

      It was really good is thank you

    • profile image

      blah  7 years ago

      very nice written work their young fella, good eff mate woooooo

      Mr.Shizzle ;)

    • profile image

      Omnomnom 7 years ago

      Shankyou Thus has helped a lot ;D

    • profile image

      benjamin 6440k 7 years ago

      ta very much.

    • adorababy profile image

      adorababy 7 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      The World War 1 must have been terrifying to all who experienced it but a lot of heroes rose to that occasion.

    • profile image

      dora ;) 7 years ago

      this is great, this site is on my favorites it really helps with projects and school work

    • profile image

      Jamie  7 years ago

      Thanx a million this website helped all my school matez

    • profile image

      tommy 7 years ago

      thanks a lot it helped with my school work

    • profile image

      Andrew 7 years ago

      Thx had a big project due tomorrow this site really helped :P

      by the way awesome pics and this cite will be all credited to you thx borski >:D

    • profile image

      Allysha Mulholland(: 7 years ago

      Thanks This helped I have an essay in two day's and this helped me allot! (: I hate home-work and its an essay so it was even worse but then i found this website and I have used what you said in my own words and thats me Done (: Lol. Thank-you x x

    • profile image

      bling bling 7 years ago

      thnkyou :)

      this information helped me heaps!!

    • profile image

      teasy2 7 years ago

      thanks it helped with my sose assignment

    • profile image

      chaza 7 years ago

      real help thanks

    • profile image

      Millie 7 years ago

      This was very helpful with my History Project thankyou very much !

    • profile image

      Greg 7 years ago

      Thanks so much saved me getting killed by my history teacher lol

    • profile image

      :D 7 years ago

      Very very very good

    • profile image

      Hannah :) 7 years ago

      thanks so much x you really helped out with my history assignmant :) cheers x

    • profile image

      Morgan 7 years ago

      This website roxs! Thanks so much, it was great help for my World War 1 project!

    • profile image

      Zac 7 years ago

      thanks a bunch! %3Pr

    • profile image

      hott chickie  7 years ago

      woop woop thank you xxx

    • profile image

      Megiii 7 years ago

      Didn't really help me that much tbh but it was interestin (:

    • profile image

      dom 7 years ago

      gr8 helped me wiv mi ww1 presentation!

    • profile image

      Hoz 7 years ago

      Great help with my school history project - thanks!!

    • profile image

      boo  7 years ago

      wow it is an horibale life

    • profile image

      Antonio 7 years ago

      Thanks !

    • profile image

      :o)  7 years ago

      this was really useful...thanks :)

    • profile image

      my friends and family are cool. 7 years ago

      sounds hard. but yh this could help with my research! thnx very much!

    • profile image

      The Goat 7 years ago

      Thank-you for this information. I'm extracting certain bits for my History assessment and rewording it.

      Thanks again.

    • profile image

      Cripplemeister 7 years ago

      Tnnx a lot thi really helped with my history assessment and gave me all of the ibnformation i needed to get top level!:D

    • profile image

      irkadirka 7 years ago

      this was very useful on writing my essay for us history class..thanks

    • profile image

      wayne rooney 7 years ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      Miniman 7 years ago

      This really helped with my history

      Thanks!!!!

    • profile image

      yr 8 girl  7 years ago

      thx for this my history teacher loved my assesment