24 Hour Trench
A Day in the Life of a Frontline Tommy
Date of publication: August 2012
Publisher: The History Press
During the Great War millions of men were consigned to a life of 'mud, blood and bullets', eking out their daily existence in a line of trenches that stretched across the Western Front. These earth dug-outs were their kitchens, their bathrooms and their bedrooms. Days were often a boring routine, peppered with artillery fire and action.
It is almost impossible for us to really understand what it was like to live in such a confined space everyday with the constant terror of enemy bombardment and attack. Now, a group of soldiers recreate the trench experience using official war records and personal diaries, answering the questions: how did they go to the loo? how did they wash their clothes? how clean can you really get from washing out of a mess tin? how easy is it to sleep in a trench? what did you do to keep yourself entertained? And much more...Following them from constructing the trench to living in it for 24 hours, Andy Robertshaw brings together his deep knowledge of the First World War with the frontline experience of serving members of the army to recreate trench life for the first time. Hour-by-hour, the soldiers' lives are detailed in text and a combination of colour photographs and contemporary images, as well as quotes from the frontline and interviews with those who took part in this innovative and groundbreaking experiment.
To truly understand what trench life was life, read 24hr Trench.