What was a morning like in the trenches?
Well before twilight all men stand on the fire step. Stand to. This was the time a possible attack could happen.
When it was fully light the men stood down. Now the soldier’s daytime routine starts.
The best art of the morning is the rum ration. It has to be consumed instantly to prevent sharing and hoarding.
Next breakfast of corned beef, tinned stew, bread or biscuit. There is also syrup and jam.
Next stop is personal hygiene. Dirty men get diseases. A respirator does not close well over beard stubble. Whatever the temperature, winter or summer, the men have to keep themselves clean.
The next important duty is recycling. Every morning soldiers are responsible to collect tin cans, ammunition cases, anything that does not belong to their fellow soldiers.
Unfired ammunition is cleaned and empty shells would collected and eventually be melted down. Gunners were expected to return fired shells for refilling.
Most battalions have their own salvage dump.
The recycling was necessary because during the Great Was every resource was precious.
Next weapons have to be cleaned.
In the trench sights are always set to 200yrds (182m) to ensure that targets in no man’s land can be hit.
More trench routines soon….