Inspection and Chores

With breakfast over the men would be inspected by either the company or platoon commander. Once this had been completed NCOs would assign daily chores to each man (except those who had been excused duty for a variety of reasons).

Example – and necessary – daily chores included the refilling of sandbags, the repair of the duckboards on the floor of the trench and the draining of trenches.

Water-filled trench at Passchendaele, 1917Particularly following heavy rainfall, trenches could quickly accumulate muddy water, making life ever more miserable for its occupants as the walls of the trench rapidly became misshapen and were prone to collapse.

Pumping equipment was available for the draining of trenches; men would also be assigned to the repair of the trench itself (click here to view brief film footage of British troops pumping water from trenches in 1914). Still others would be assigned to the preparation of latrines.

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