Quavers Crisps.

These are my favourite crisps I love eating a lot of the time they are Quavers crisps.


Prince William And Prince Harry.

Prince William, Duke of CambridgeKGKTPCADC (William Arthur Philip Louis; born 21 June 1982) is a member of the British royal family. He is the elder son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales. Since birth, he has been second in the line of succession to the British throne.

Born in St Mary’s Hospital, London, William was educated at Wetherby SchoolLudgrove School and Eton College. He spent parts of his gap year in Belize and Chile before earning a Scottish Master of Arts degree in geography at the University of St Andrews. William then trained at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst prior to serving with the Blues and Royals. In April 2008, William graduated from Royal Air Force College Cranwell, joining RAF Search and Rescue Force in early 2009. He served as a full-time pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance from July 2015 for two years.

The Duke performs official duties and engagements on behalf of the Queen.[3] He holds patronage with over 30 charitable and military organisations, including the Tusk TrustCentrepoint, and London’s Air Ambulance Charity. He undertakes projects through The Royal Foundation, with his charity work revolving around mental health, conservation, and emergency workers. In December 2014, he founded the “United for Wildlife” initiative, which aims to reduce worldwide illegal wildlife trade. In April 2016, the Cambridges and Prince Harry initiated the mental health awareness campaign “Heads Together” to encourage people to open up about their mental health issues. In October 2020, William launched the Earthshot Prize, a £50 million initiative to incentivise environmental solutions over the next decade.

In 2011, William was made Duke of Cambridge preceding his marriage to Catherine Middleton. The couple have three children: Prince GeorgePrincess Charlotte, and Prince Louis of Cambridge.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex,[fn 2] KCVOADC (Henry Charles Albert David; born 15 September 1984),[2] is a member of the British royal family. As the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, he is sixth in the line of succession to the British throne.

Born in St Mary’s Hospital, London, Harry was educated at Wetherby SchoolLudgrove School, and Eton College. He spent parts of his gap year in Australia and Lesotho, then underwent officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was commissioned as a cornet into the Blues and Royals, serving temporarily with his brother William and completed training as a troop leader. In 2007–2008, he served for over ten weeks in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He returned to Afghanistan for a 20-week deployment in 2012–2013 with the Army Air Corps. In June 2015, he resigned from the army.

Harry launched the Invictus Games in 2014 and remains the patron of its foundation. He also gives patronage to several other organisations, including the HALO Trust and Walking With The Wounded.[3] To encourage people to open up about their mental health issues, Harry, alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, initiated the mental health awareness campaign “Heads Together” in April 2016.[4]

In 2018, Harry was made Duke of Sussex prior to his wedding to American actress Meghan Markle. In January 2020, the couple stepped down as senior members of the royal family and moved to the Duchess’s native Southern California. In October 2020, they launched Archewell Inc., an American public organisation that focuses on non-profit activities and creative media ventures. They have two children, Archie and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.

Prince Harry was born in the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, on 15 September 1984 at 4:20 pm as the second child of Charles, Prince of Wales (heir apparent to the British throne), and Diana, Princess of Wales.[5][6][fn 3] He was christened Henry Charles Albert David on 21 December 1984 at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, by the Archbishop of CanterburyRobert Runcie.[fn 4] Growing up, he was referred to as “Harry” by family, friends, and the public, and in court communications.[12] Harry and his elder brother, William, were raised at Kensington Palace in London, and Highgrove House in Gloucestershire.[13][14] Diana wanted him and his brother to have a broader range of experiences and a better understanding of ordinary life than previous royal children. She took them to venues that ranged from Walt Disney World and McDonald’s to AIDS clinics and homeless shelters.[15] He began accompanying his parents on official visits at an early age; his first overseas tour was with his parents to Italy in 1985.[16] He also travelled with his family to Canada in 1991 and 1998.[17][18]

Harry’s parents divorced in 1996. His mother died in a car crash in Paris the following year. Harry and William were staying with their father at Balmoral at the time, and the Prince of Wales told his sons about their mother’s death.[19] At his mother’s funeral, Harry, then 12, accompanied his father, brother, paternal grandfather, and maternal uncle, Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, in walking behind the funeral cortège from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey.[20]

Queen Elizebeth.

Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926)[b] is Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms.[c]

Elizabeth was born in MayfairLondon, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth). Her father ascended the throne in 1936 upon the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII, making Elizabeth the heir presumptive. She was educated privately at home and began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In November 1947, she married Philip Mountbatten, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she had four children: Charles, Prince of WalesAnne, Princess RoyalPrince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

When her father died in February 1952, Elizabeth—then 25 years old—became queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, CanadaAustraliaNew ZealandSouth AfricaPakistan, and Ceylon, as well as Head of the Commonwealth. Elizabeth has reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes such as the Troubles in Northern Irelanddevolution in the United Kingdom, the accession of the United Kingdom to the European Communities, the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European UnionCanadian patriation, and the decolonisation of Africa. Between 1956 and 1992, the number of her realms varied as territories gained independence, and as realms, including South AfricaPakistan, and Ceylon (renamed Sri Lanka), became republics. Her many visits and meetings include a state visit to the Republic of Ireland and visits to or from five popes. Significant events have included her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her SilverGolden, and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, and 2012 respectively. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee. On 9 April 2021, after over 73 years of marriage, her husband, Prince Philip, died at the age of 99.

Elizabeth is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch, the longest-serving female head of state in history, the oldest living and longest-reigning current monarch, and the oldest and longest-serving incumbent head of state. Throughout her reign, Elizabeth has faced republican sentiment and criticism of the royal family, particularly after the breakdown of her children’s marriages, her annus horribilis in 1992, and the 1997 death of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales. However, support for the monarchy in the United Kingdom has been and remains consistently high, as does her personal popularity.


Coca-Cola, or Coke, is a carbonated soft drink manufactured by The Coca-Cola Company. Originally marketed as a temperance drink and intended as a patent medicine, it was invented in the late 19th century by John Stith Pemberton and was bought out by businessman Asa Griggs Candler, whose marketing tactics led Coca-Cola to its dominance of the world soft-drink market throughout the 20th century.[1] The drink’s name refers to two of its original ingredients: coca leaves, and kola nuts (a source of caffeine). The current formula of Coca-Cola remains a trade secret; however, a variety of reported recipes and experimental recreations have been published. The drink has inspired imitators and created a whole classification of soft drink: colas.

The Coca-Cola Company produces concentrate, which is then sold to licensed Coca-Cola bottlers throughout the world. The bottlers, who hold exclusive territory contracts with the company, produce the finished product in cans and bottles from the concentrate, in combination with filtered water and sweeteners. A typical 12-US-fluid-ounce (350 ml) can contains 38 grams (1.3 oz) of sugar (usually in the form of high-fructose corn syrup). The bottlers then sell, distribute, and merchandise Coca-Cola to retail stores, restaurants, and vending machines throughout the world. The Coca-Cola Company also sells concentrate for soda fountains of major restaurants and foodservice distributors.

The Coca-Cola Company has on occasion introduced other cola drinks under the Coke name. The most common of these is Diet Coke, along with others including Caffeine-Free Coca-ColaDiet Coke Caffeine-FreeCoca-Cola Zero SugarCoca-Cola CherryCoca-Cola Vanilla, and special versions with lemonlime, and coffee. Coca-Cola was called Coca-Cola Classic from July 1985 to 2009, to distinguish it from “New Coke“. Based on Interbrand’s “best global brand” study of 2020, Coca-Cola was the world’s sixth most valuable brand.[2] In 2013, Coke products were sold in over 200 countries worldwide, with consumers drinking more than 1.8 billion company beverage servings each day.[3] Coca-Cola ranked No. 87 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue

New Coke

Main article: New CokeThe Las Vegas StripWorld of Coca-Cola museum in 2003

On April 23, 1985, Coca-Cola, amid much publicity, attempted to change the formula of the drink with “New Coke”. Follow-up taste tests revealed most consumers preferred the taste of New Coke to both Coke and Pepsi[44] but Coca-Cola management was unprepared for the public’s nostalgia for the old drink, leading to a backlash. The company gave in to protests and returned to the old formula under the name Coca-Cola Classic, on July 10, 1985. “New Coke” remained available and was renamed Coke II in 1992; it was discontinued in 2002.

21st century

On July 5, 2005, it was revealed that Coca-Cola would resume operations in Iraq for the first time since the Arab League boycotted the company in 1968.

In April 2007, in Canada, the name “Coca-Cola Classic” was changed back to “Coca-Cola”. The word “Classic” was removed because “New Coke” was no longer in production, eliminating the need to differentiate between the two. The formula remained unchanged. In January 2009, Coca-Cola stopped printing the word “Classic” on the labels of 16-US-fluid-ounce (470 ml) bottles sold in parts of the southeastern United States.The change was part of a larger strategy to rejuvenate the product’s image. The word “Classic” was removed from all Coca-Cola products by 2011.

In November 2009, due to a dispute over wholesale prices of Coca-Cola products, Costco stopped restocking its shelves with Coke and Diet Coke for two months; a separate pouring rights deal in 2013 saw Coke products removed from Costco food courts in favor of Pepsi.Some Costco locations (such as the ones in Tucson, Arizona) additionally sell imported Coca-Cola from Mexico with cane sugar instead of corn syrup from separate distributors. Coca-Cola introduced the 7.5-ounce mini-can in 2009, and on September 22, 2011, the company announced price reductions, asking retailers to sell eight-packs for $2.99. That same day, Coca-Cola announced the 12.5-ounce bottle, to sell for 89 cents. A 16-ounce bottle has sold well at 99 cents since being re-introduced, but the price was going up to $1.19.

In 2012, Coca-Cola resumed business in Myanmar after 60 years of absence due to U.S.-imposed investment sanctions against the country. Coca-Cola’s bottling plant will be located in Yangon and is part of the company’s five-year plan and $200 million investment in Myanmar. Coca-Cola with its partners is to invest US$5 billion in its operations in India by 2020.

In February 2021, as a plan to combat the plastic waste, Coca-Cola said that it would start selling its sodas in bottles made from 100% recycled plastic material in the United States, and by 2030 planned to recycle one bottle or can for each one it sold. Coca-Cola started by selling 2000 paper bottles to see if they held up due to the risk of safety and of changing the taste of the drink

This Simon Schofield

WW1 slang terms usd by soldiers


The limited diet of the British soldier in the front line included Tickler’s Plum and Apple Jam, known as ‘pozzy’ (possibly from a South African word for ‘preserved food’), ‘biscuit’, a hard-baked bread that had seen service for many years in Britain’s armies and navies, and ‘bully beef’, whose name may have come from the French boeuf bouillé (boiled beef) or possibly from the picture of a bull’s head on many tin designs. ‘Gippo’, stew or thick gravy, probably derived from a term used in the 17th and 18th centuries to denote a kitchen servant. Rum was delivered to the front in jars labelled SRD, interpreted as ‘seldom reaches destination’.

Available behind the lines in French bars were ‘Bombardier Fritz’ (pommes de terre frites – chips) with ‘oofs’ and ‘pang’, and ‘plonk’ (vin blanc – white wine).

Experiences common to European armies at the time – poor food and the logistics of transport – provided similar terms for poor quality butter or margarine: ‘axlegrease’ and the German Wagenschmiere (wagongrease).

Soldiers grew adept at getting hold of food by various means; terms included ‘mumping’, ‘winning’, ‘cadging’, ‘humming’, ‘making’, ‘boning’, ‘souveniring’ and ‘hot-stuffing’. Some of these terms were invented at the time while others dated back centuries.


Many of the terms for weapons and artillery were remarkably similar on both sides of no man’s land, indicating a similarity of attitude, that the soldier had two enemies, the opposing forces and the war itself. Germans and British used the same terms for the German stick-grenade – a potato-masher – both sides had a ‘Black Maria’, and both sides used a German name for an aeroplane – a ‘Taube’.

Some of these terms became indelibly associated with the war: ‘whizz-bangs’ speaks explicitly of the soldier’s experience of knowing how to identify a particular kind of incoming shell, and what action might be worth taking. ‘Jack Johnson’, referencing the black heavyweight champion boxer, was for a shell which created a large amount of black smoke. ‘Moaning Minnie’ referred to the German trench mortar or Minenwerfer, the term carrying overtones of familiarity and humour.

Names for troops: ‘Tommy’ and ‘Foot Slogger’

Documentation of ‘Tommy Atkins’, the archetypical name for the British soldier, dates back to 1815. ‘Tommy’ became immortalised in the first of Rudyard Kipling’s Barrack Room Ballads, published in 1892: 

O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s “Thank you, Mr. Atkins,” when the band begins to play.

The name ‘Tommy’ was used universally throughout the First World War, by both sides. Some correspondence to The Times in 1914 indicates that not everyone felt well-disposed towards the name. ‘An Ensign of 1848’ wrote on 23 October: ‘May I … suggest that the time has now come … to put a period to the use of the nickname ‘Tommies’? … To hear these British soldiers referred to in depreciatory patronage as ‘Tommies’ by those who stay at home … is unseemly and exasperating.’ Three days later another reader wrote that if you were to ask ‘a company of Garrison Artillery what they think of the name and of the verses in which it was first enshrined the reply was startling and anything but complimentary to the author of the verses.’ It is possible that this was a matter of opinion which differed between individuals, regiments, platoons, and any groupings of soldiers. Certainly there are clear indications of its being used by soldiers: the trench paper The Salient for Christmas 1915 advertises The Buzzer, the paper of the 49th (West Riding) Division, ‘written by Tommies for Tommies’. But many ‘Tommies’ preferred the terms PBI (poor bloody infantry) and ‘something to hang things on’, referring to the amount of kit they had to carry.

‘Foot-slogger’ – ‘Foot slogging over Belgian ways’ was noted in the article The Route March, in the 5th Gloucester Gazette 5 May 1915 – was originally ‘foot-wabler’ or foot-wobbler’ in Grose’s The Vulgar Tongue (1785), a term of contempt for the infantryman much used by the cavalry. Related names were ‘gravel-grinder’, and ‘mud-crusher’. There were similar terms in French and German, German terms being particularly graphic – Dreckfresser (mud-glutton), Kilometerfresser (kilometre-glutton), Fusslatscher (foot-shuffler), Lakenpatscher (mud-crusher). According to Partridge only the Germans were resigned to the term Kanonenfutter, ‘cannon-fodder’.[1] German soldiers also called themselves Schweissfussindianer – ‘Indians with sweaty feet’ – which had an interesting counterpart in a term for British soldiers: 1000 Worte Front-Deutsch (1925) states that after ‘Tommy’ the main German epithet for British soldiers was Fussballindianer – ‘football Indians’.

Allies and enemies

A healthy cynicism typifies the self-parody to be found in the extended ‘alternative abbreviations’ of English, such as Rob All My Comrades (RAMC, Royal Army Medical Corps) or Rotten Fiddling About (RFA, Royal Field Artillery). It had counterparts in the German Fährt Alles Kaput (Everything goes kaput) for FAK (Freiwilliges Automobil Korps, the Volunteer Automobile Corps), or Mord-Gesellschaft Klub (Murder Company Club) for MGK (Maschinen-Gewehr Kompagnie or Machine-gun Company).

For the British soldier there were several terms used to describe the soldier opposing him. Turkish soldiers were referred to as ‘Jacko’, ‘Jacky’, ‘Johnny Turk’ or simply ‘Abdul’, while Austrians, if encountered, qualified for ‘Fritz’. ‘Johnny Bulgar’ was the enemy faced in Salonika. The Portuguese were known as ‘Pork and Cheese’ and ‘Tony’, but more often as ‘Pork and Beans’, the name of a meal soldiers at the Front recognised all too well. ‘Sammy’ was used for American soldiers, who often called themselves ‘guys’; Italians were referred to as ‘Macaroni.’

The term poilu was used widely for the French soldier both amongst the French, and occasionally by their British and American allies – French soldiers themselves preferred les hommes or les bonhommes, according to Brophy and Partridge. Meaning ‘hairy’, poilu is supposed to have originated in a story by Honoré de Balzac, Le Médecin de Campagne (1834), in which a group of French soldiers are required for a deed requiring particular courage. In this story only 40 soldiers in one regiment are deemed to be assez poilu, hairy enough.

Reports of the ruthlessness of the German army in China in 1900 refer to the use of the ‘Hun’ by the German Emperor as a symbolic ideal of military force, and thus the word was in place to be applied in 1914, especially in association with concepts such as ‘atrocities’. ‘Who’s afraid of a few dashed Huns?’ shouted Francis Grenfell, just before his death in 1915 during the Second Battle of Ypres.

‘The Hun’ and ‘the Boche’ (or ‘Bosche’) stayed in use throughout the war, though Fraser and Gibbons claimed that only the Royal Flying Corps used ‘Hun’ regularly.[2] ‘The boche’ or ‘boches’ (or ‘bosch/bosches’), with or without a capital B, was a French word, which arrived through contact with French forces in 1914, and is said to have derived from French slang caboche, meaning ‘rascal’ or ‘German’, or from Alboche, a variant on Alleman. A writer in the Western Daily Press, 15 October 1915, claimed that les Alboches developed into les sales Boches (‘the dirty Boches’), which provided the word Boches.

The British also used ‘Alleyman’ adopted from the French word for German, Allemand:
‘I got up toot sweet and off I ranAnd nearly stopped a bullet from an Alleyman’. [3]

‘Fritz’ was used throughout the war. From 1917 it was the only term used by Corporal FR Ingrey, in his diary, while the variation ‘Fritzies’ was a popular term among American soldiers.[4]

By 1916 the term ‘Jerry’ was in general use. Though the Daily Express had quoted the word on 3 March 1916, on 12 September 1916 it was clearly necessary to explain it further: ‘“Jerries” – that is the “official” Irish designation of the enemy.’ By 1918 it was used frequently, as in ‘Jerry had a machine-gun on us’[5]. The term carried more familiarity and weariness than hate; in Kipling’s A Madonna of the Trenches (1923), portraying something of the reality of being shelled, the enemy is ‘Jerry’ rather than ‘the Boche’.

From 1916 the term ‘German’ was common. Battery Flashes by ‘Wagger’ (CW Langley) 1916, reports the use of ‘Germings’ for Germans, while the diary of Lieutenant AB Scott uses ‘Hun’ in 1916, ‘Boches’ and ‘Huns’ until Spring 1918, but ‘Germans’ from Summer 1918. Among American soldiers the term ‘Heinie’, from Heinz (Heinrich), was common. According to Eric Partridge, the Germans had their own names for specific branches of the armed forces: Ernst or Ernest for artillerymen, Fritz or Otto for infantryman, and Franz for an airman.[6] The helmet finally adopted by the German infantry reinforced the use of the term ‘squareheads’, which had been in use to describe German soldiers since at least 1906. On 9 October 1914 The Manchester Guardian in a discussion on German national characteristics stated that ‘It is the shortness of the German head that gets him the nickname “squarehead” in England and America and “Têtecarrée” in France. Germans themselves, by the way, say that it is the Austrian Germans who are the “squareheads”.’ But the correspondent dismissed the generalisation as unhelpful.

Cover of pamphlet 'digger dialects'. Shows outline of two soldiers.

WW1 How did the soldiers cope with being at war


Given our understanding of the horrors of war, it is often difficult to understand how men coped with life at the Front during the First World War. Many, of course, did not: it is during this period that shell shock and what we now know as post-traumatic stress disorder were first described and diagnosed . Hundreds, across all the armies involved in the war, deserted, and both sides faced large mutinies – among the French in 1917 and by the German navy in 1918, as well the Russian Revolution in 1917. But these aside, the majority of those serving followed orders and often acted with enormous courage and bravery, as well as killing their fellow men. What allowed them to do this?


The ability for both sides to place so many men in the field for so long is testament not just to the power and control the military could exert but also to the strength of belief of those involved in the fighting. It is impossible to understand how men volunteered, accepted conscription and continued to fight without taking into account their beliefs about the war.   

While individuals varied greatly, there are some common themes that run through soldiers’ diaries and letters and point to how they saw the call to arms and the nature of battle. The military was also especially interested in morale, and took pains to measure what the troops were feeling and thinking.

Many British volunteers, and later conscripts, saw the German threat as very real. Belgian soldiers were fighting for their homeland (although linguistic allegiances complicated their sympathies) and France knew it faced a repeat of the German invasion of 1870. For Austro-Hungarians, the Archduke had been assassinated, and Germans could believe that they were fighting for an equal place with the other European empires and were resisting Russian aggression. For soldiers, these patriotic notions were also mixed with other emotions, as well as a good dose of realism. Few really thought that the war would be over quickly, at least after the first few months had passed. Many served out of thought for their families and friends as much as through loyalty to their country. For others, the promise of regular pay and help for their families might have influenced their decision and motivation to serve. Later in the war, rumours of peace or victory repeatedly spread along the Fronts, giving men an illusion that the end of the conflict was near (the hope of leave also served a similar purpose).

Given the size of the army and the presence of a large number of either recent volunteers or conscripts, something about the nature of the society from which the men were drawn no doubt influenced attitudes towards military service. Britain’s high-levels of industrialisation, and workers’ adaptation to the rigours and boredom of often-harsh factory life, may have prepared men for the Front, while the social cohesion (and acceptance of paternalism) evident in British society was reflected in good officer-ranks relations. In contrast, the hierarchy and militarism of the German army and the ‘war-enthusiasm’ of many volunteers led to disillusionment and eventually radicalisation of the ranks.

Rest and recreation played some part in the resilience of British troops, who were able to enjoy some of the leisure activities they enjoyed in civilian life during regular times away from the Front: music hall, cinema and organised sports offered some form of respite.

Friends and enemies

Despite the famous (but by no means ubiquitous) truces of the first winter of the war, hatred of the enemy – and even the desire to kill – fuelled many soldiers’ ability to keep fighting. Revenge for friends and companions killed, and the experience of being shot at or bombarded, combined with pervasive propaganda and helped to instil national hatred as the war continued.

In parallel to these feelings, the military unit could provide an alternative set of communal bonds. Soldiers often wrote about their sense of comradeship and friendship with their fellow men. Many fought for each other as much as for remoter loyalties such as to king and country.

Coping with war

Men responded differently under fire. For many, the helplessness of suffering artillery bombardment was the hardest thing to deal with. Many could not stay hunkered down but could only cope with the noise and danger of death by walking around, thereby increasing their risk of becoming a casualty. Group panic could break out during an attack, as could more serious breaches of discipline, particularly when troops were especially exhausted or bore grievances against the officers. Those immediately thrown into heavy action tended to cope less well than novices who were gradually exposed to conflict.

As soldiers spent more time under fire, they tended to develop what among German troops was termed ‘Dickfelligkeit’ (‘thick-skinnedness’) and became hardened to the rigours of the Front. Veteran soldiers learned to pay attention to their environment, taking advantage of cover and working better under fire. In general, older hands did better with managing the intense feeling of terror that inflicted itself on those under fire.

Soldiers also had to cope with long stretches of anxious waiting, or even boredom, as well as responding to or participating in attacks. To counteract this, busy routines were put in place, ensuring that trenches were repaired, men supplied, and all was ready for the long, wakeful nights (daytime was usually too dangerous for major activity). Soldiers could also comfort themselves with the knowledge of the inefficiency of most First World War weaponry. Men often resorted to black or gallows humour, as well as a bitter fatalism and superstition, as a means of dealing with everyday reality; doses of rum may also have played their part in steadying nerves.

Mental breakdown

Many, of course, did not cope with the stresses of the war. This manifested itself in a number of ways, including the reporting of physical ailments, such as trench foot, which, in the British army, was tracked as a marker of morale. Recognising that a rise in certain diseases was linked to problems with morale, the British army recorded the incidence of trench foot and asked officers to produce a report if the number rose. Others responded to the strains with what was called ‘shirking’, a general lassitude and lack of aggression in combat.

Medical opinion, and the rates of psychological breakdown after returning to the field, suggested that those who temporarily left their post (that is, were convicted of the charge of ‘Absence without Leave’) were suffering from the mental effects of war.

Suicide offered another way out. It was much underreported, as at least 3,828 German soldiers killed themselves; a figure that does not reflect the numbers who simply walked into enemy fire or whose death was ambiguous.

Those that returned also had to readjust to civilian life, often during periods of great political and social upheaval. Millions also had to cope with physical trauma or the loss of family members and friends. Many men found it difficult to talk about their experiences, or found it hard to relate their sense of service with a society that increasingly came to lament the loss. The psychological consequences of the war continued to be felt for a generation or more.

Lone man sat deep inside a dug-out within a trench.