Foods available and recreational activities
- A total of 3,240,948 tons of food was sent from Britain to the soldiers fighting in France and Belgium during the first world war. At the beginning of the war British soldiers were given 10 ounces of meat and 8 ounces of vegetables a day. Soldiers in the Western Front were very critical of the quantity and the quality of food they received. The bulk of their diet in the trenches was bully beef (caned corned beef), bread and biscuits. Providing fresh food was also very hard. It took up to eight days before bread reached the front- line and so it was always stale. So also were the sweet snacks so the soldiers tried to solve this problem by breaking them up, adding potatoes,onions, sultanas or whatever was available, and boiling the mixture up in a sandbag.
- During WW1 the soldiers would not have much time for themselves. From fighting the war to watching for enemies took a vast amount of time. Soldiers would usually write letters to their loved ones back home. Many soldiers became homesick, and missed their loved ones very much. They would also play card games, dig other trenches and socialize with their fellow soldiers. During lulls in the fighting they would sleep, exhaustion being a serious problem. Trenches may need repairing or clearing of debris and of course bodies removed if possible. Weapons needed to be cleaned constantly to prevent guns from jamming. And they played games, sang songs, talked about home and shared a fag (cigarette) or two. One unique thing the soldiers did was “ trench art”. They would use broken supplies such as leather from shoes, broken harnesses, and cigarette butts to create art for pastime. Anything that was broken or thrown away could be used as a piece of art.