Soldiers' Account of Trench Life Essay

Soldiers' Account of Trench Life Essay

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Soldiers' Account of Trench Life

Life in the trenches was horrific; the frontline soldiers dreaded
having to return to them. During their tour of duty there, they lived
in considerable tension. The trenches were far from safe; possibly one
third of all casualties on the Weston front were killed or wounded in
the trenches, mostly from artillery fire.

In this essay I will be discussing and comparing the accuracy and
differences between the soldiers' accounts of the trenches and
official accounts composed by the government. I will use my own
knowledge as well as many sources from the booklet provided. The
sources that I shall use will come from many categories including
primary accounts of soldiers in the trenches, photographs, paintings,
propaganda and official government accounts. I will note the uses of
the sources including their strengths and weaknesses, their
provenance, reliability the importance and usefulness as well as the
limitations of their usefulness.

In section A, I will look at sources from history textbooks describing
what life was like in the trenches. Most of the sources in this
section are official accounts produced by the government and are
therefore probably reliable however there is evidence to suggest that
these are used for propaganda or censored.

Section B sources are also official accounts describing life in the
trenches but these sources are photographs and drawings, these may be
useful, but not very reliable as some of the photographers and artists
were appointed by the government and may be censored, exaggerated or
used for propaganda. So we have to compare and contrast to rely on the ...


... middle of paper ...


...- an idealistic picture of war, to keep everyone happy.

The soldier's accounts however, were completely different and
contradicted the official accounts in almost every way. There is a
possibility (although unlikely as so many soldiers accounts
complimented each other) that soldiers exaggerated the truth to make
themselves look more heroic. The reliability of some soldiers accounts
could be unbalanced due to emotions running too high, and then saying
something in spite or hatred towards Germany, the British government,
rats, lice etc.

In conclusion, I find that generally, the soldier's accounts were more
accurate than the governments as, at the end of the day, it was the
soldiers who lived and fought in the trenches and would clearly be
able to give a more accurate picture of trench life than official
accounts.

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