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World War 1 School Assignment Templates

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“The soldiers in the trenches of world war one, experienced comradeship, boredom and brutality” may be a true statement but it depends very much on the circumstances, and thoughts and actions of the soldiers. Comradeship is when a friendship is formed; it could be due to special circumstances, or a partner who you are united with in some way. Fighting a war unites people and some soldiers probably made life long friends in fighting the war. They had been through all hell together and that kind of thing tends to make a bond form between people.

Boredom is when you have nothing to do and can’t think of anything to occupy your mind. Well the soldiers had plenty to occupy their minds but boredom was inevitable in these situations, sitting underground for weeks on end waiting for the enemy to attack, maybe waiting for your death, must have been a horrible experience. But those with skills like drawing or those who liked to be alone or read would have found the time from fighting a relief and not felt bored at all. And as for brutality, it is defined as a state or quality of being cruel.

I’m sure that many would agree that the war full of brutality even from ones owns side. Comradeship may have been a big part of the soldier’s life in the war; otherwise they would have had very little to keep them going. Singing together lifted their spirits on long marches or in the long hour’s underground. Many songs mention friends and fighting together for their country. So singing in unison brought all soldiers closer together. Picture and paintings of the war show men linking arms and smiling broadly at their new-found friends. Another kind of comradeship formed in the war, an unlikely one that very few people know about.

The most well known example of this is on Christmas day, some men from the English side and some men from the German side engaged in a friendly football match on no-mans land. The German team won and the British wanted a re-match, but the British had to leave next day to fight some where else. This shows that although these men were fighting each other and would have willingly shot each other in battle, they were just ordinary people who were interested in the same things, probably had similar jobs and just wanted a to put the War behind them on Christmas day.

The next day the two sides would both be off killing the others comrades, but it made no difference. I’m sure that they all had one thing in common, both sides wanted the war to be over and to go back to their normal lives, not having to worry about who was on which side. And that’s exactly what they did… for one day. Brutality is probably the one thing that springs to most people’s minds when they think of war. Of killings and suffering, well there certainly is a lot of evidence to back up this assumption.

Photos of trenches full of dead and wounded bodies are common in World war books. In the book World War by J. A Hammerton it shows pictures of dead men lying down with crosses lying on top of them ready to be buried and other (alive) men having to walk past them. In another book it compares the amount of people in a full Wembley stadium to the number of soldiers who were killed on the first day of the Somme. Many world war books feature pictures of dead or dying soldiers, covered in mud and lying in disease-ridden trenches.

It must be a hard thing to do to carry on fighting while your friends’ lie dying or dead around you. Brutality was also experienced strangely from one’s own side! The punishment for things like accidentally letting of a round of fire were often things like being strapped to a large cartwheel and having to stand there for several days and weeks in the rain and cold. Some men were shot by there own side for things such as mutiny or cowardice. Officially 322 men were shot by their own side but it is generally accepted that many more were shot by own officers before being given a military court.

Songs sung through the war by the soldiers mention the horrible thing they experienced like the song “gassed. ” Boredom is not automatically something you associate with war but it was probably a main emotion among the soldiers, who would not have had much to do when not fighting. A typical month for a soldier would be 4 days in the front line, 4 days in the support line and 14 days resting. So most of their month would be spent resting in the trenches not the most pleasant of places! Many passed the time drawing or reading.

But there was little light in the tunnels so it would have been hard to concentrate. Books on the Great War are full of drawings saved by soldiers in the trenches, pictures of bombed scenes, of their families and friends, picture of other soldiers or cartoon drawings that make fun of the Germans. Card playing and gambling probably helped pass the time. To some soldiers the rest may have come as a great relief from the fighting and not wanting to go into battle again and preferring to be alone they may have never been bored. Many wrote a diary of the days events to pass the time.

Some of these diaries still survive today and show as evidence of not just the boredom in being a solider but they describe the brutality and comradeship the soldiers experienced. They talk about friends they have made and lost. Of punishments they received and of the long hours waiting underground for something to happen. Letters home also show how the soldiers missed their families and feared that they might never see them again. In general, with very little exceptions, the statement “The soldiers in the trenches of world war one, experienced comradeship, boredom and brutality” is a true one. And the evidence above proves it!

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