What were the key details of trench life?

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Conditions of the trenches were very bad. In the wet weather, mud and water would collate at the bottom of the trench, and so, if soldiers regularly walked in it, their legs would be infected with gangrene, and needed to be amputated. In addition, in heavy rain, the walls of the trench would fall in, and cave into the trench making it difficult to utilise the trench and rebuild the trench. There was no heating in the trenches, so many soldiers got frostbite in the cold conditions, and sleeping rest areas were very limited and basic. Men were also often up to their thighs in mud, and people also sometimes drowned in the mud and died that way.

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The routine of trench life was strict and well maintained men had to wake up half an hour before dawn and ‘stand to’ meaning standing on the fire step with the rifle ready in case of an attack. Men slept in either underground dugouts or funk holes, which were carved out spaces at the side of the trench, where they could escape from the rain and wind. Some soldiers would be on fire step duty for the day, whereas some troops would be chosen for sentry duty. Troops allowed rest would be repairing duckboards, replacing barbed wire, and filling ...

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