Life as a soldier
What was life like for the millions of professional, conscripted or recruited soldiers, who fought in the various European and international theatres of war? The trench experience involved the terror of mud, slime and disease and the constant threat of shellfire. Heavy artillery and new weapons such as poison gas threatened death from afar; but hand to hand combat with clubs and knives killed many during the grisly business of trench raids. When troops were not fighting, they were locked into trench deadlock, at which point boredom also became a serious issue.
- Article by:
- Vanda Wilcox
In a war that saw new weaponry technology and great numbers of casualties, Assistant Professor Vanda Wilcox considers the common experiences of soldiers in active combat.Read more
- Article by:
- Julie Anderson
World War One created thousands of casualties from physical wounds, illness, and emotional trauma. Dr Julie Anderson reflects on the subsequent impact on the role of doctors and nurses, and the medical treatment, organisation and new technologies that they employed.Read more
How did World War One begin? Why did it escalate and what was the impact of both war and peace on the countries involved?
What was life like for the millions of professional, conscripted or recruited soldiers?
Over four million non-white men served in WWI. Explore more about their lives and responsibilities.
In addition to poetry, what were the other creative responses to the War? How have these affected our memory and understanding?