In the trenches on the Western Front

New Zealand soldiers in a front-line trench on the Somme, La Signy Farm, France, 6 April 1918. Sergeant Ormond Burton (Auckland Regiment's official historian who became a prominent Second World War conscientious objector) stands on a firing step in the trench wall.

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What do you know?

Peter MacDonald

Posted: 29 Dec 2010

This a newly dug position, most probably dug during the previous evening by the battalion these men in the trench are from, the fire steps give way its hastiness and the men are on 50 percent stand to, with the machine gun occupying the far right of thre trench, a new trench was hastily dug at night by most of a battalion's rifle men up to 400 and would be protected by a a machine gun crew on sentry usually a lewis gunner, as it was difficult to dig in the dark the trench would have been reconnoitered during the day by an officer and marked out with mine tape or any luminous available, even flour or salt could be used..and the trench was quickly dug men shoulder to shoulder, a wiring party would lay out wire while the trench was being dug.