Trench Warfare Vignettes

In this series of short videos, military historian and battlefield archaeologist Andy Robertshaw shows us what life was like in the trenches during the First World War. Andy has a long history of educating youth about military history and has worked as a historical advisor on Hollywood films such as: They Shall Not Grow Old, War Horse, 1917, Wonder Woman, and The King’s Man.

Educators!
For a list of activities that can be used in concert with this video series, please click
Learning Resource: Trenches on the Western Front.

In Trench Tour (4:05), Andy Robertshaw will provide a tour of a trench system similar to those experienced by soldiers in France and Flanders (The Western Front) during the First World War.

In 24 Hours in a Trench (4:46), Andy Robertshaw describes a soldier’s routine during a 24-hour period in a First World War trench on the Western Front.

In Trench Construction (1:24), Andy Robertshaw shows us how soldiers began to dig their trenches on the Western Front during the First World War.

In Weapons of Trench Warfare (9:44), Andy Robertshaw shows us the evolution of weapons that were used on the Western Front during the First World War.

In Shaving Tommy (i.e. a soldier) (2:47), Andy Robertshaw describes a soldier’s routine for washing and hygiene in a First World War trench on the Western Front.

In Feeding Tommy (i.e. a soldier) (1:35), Andy Robertshaw describes how soldiers are fed in a First World War trench on the Western Front

In Welcome to the Front (2:20), Andy Robertshaw shows what an on-duty soldier’s experience would be like on the Western Front in an active trench.

In The Attack (2:30), Andy Robertshaw speaks about what was involved in preparing for an attack similar to those experienced by soldiers in France and Flanders (The Western Front) during the First World War.

In Gas! Gas! Gas! (1:10), Andy Robertshaw describes the reaction to a gas attack in a First World War trench on the Western Front.

In Regimental Aid Post (6:46), Andy Robertshaw shows the process of removal of an injured soldier from the battlefield to an aid post.

In Casualty Clearing Station (3:08), Andy Robertshaw shows what an on-duty soldier’s experience would be like on the Western Front in an active trench.

A map of the southern part of Vimy Ridge that shows “British” trenches in red ink. This map was created in 1915, over a year before the Canadian Corps arrived. Note that the blue line is the German front line. The German trenches would have been to the right but are not shown due to secrecy concerns. For more information about this map, visit http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo%3A93941).

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