Slide show of life on the Western Front battlefield

Click on the photograph above to see a series of images illustrating scenes of daily life in and behind the front line. It shows soldiers sleeping and reading, having meals and hot drinks, carrying out routine tasks, viewing the ruins of Ypres and searching through their clothing for lice (a common wartime chore known as 'The Search'). The captions are those used in the original scrapbook from which these images are taken.

Those in the trenches had little opportunity to attend to matters of personal hygiene and often had to spend days wearing wet, mud-encrusted clothing. Dirty clothes and unwashed bodies were magnets for lice, which were the carriers of the virus known as 'trench fever'. Many soldiers also suffered from 'trench foot', a fungal infection caused by constant immersion in cold water.