Trench Warfare


Herbert O’Neill’s The Royal Fusiliers in the Great War describes the first winter of 1914: ‘The trenches now became ankle and even knee-deep in mud. The Germans were only about 150 yards away...It was bitterly cold, and fires were lit along the trenches, each side ignoring the smoke.  While on tour in the trenches on November 29th coke braziers were issued, and proved very acceptable.  On the following day sheepskins were supplied. The next day Very pistols; and little by little, all the familiar accompaniments of trench warfare appeared.’ The postcard of the Royal Fusiliers In the Trenches, painted by Ernest Ibbotson follows this description, including sheepskins and brazier, apart from the floor of the trench which looks too dry. 


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by Stephen Luscombe