Newfoundland At Armageddon

Watch the documentary

“Back to training. This is serious stuff b'y. It's fun to be in France and go for a drink in the village, but we got to get ready for the Big Push. We're going to mangle those Boches boys for good anyway. Our captain gave us some kind of mask with a tube in it. We had to put it on our head and go into this place full of gas. It's bloody hard to breathe with that thing on. I would have sold my soul for a breath of fresh air.”

William

Learn more about
the Boches and Gas Masks

“The boys are digging tunnels under No Man's Land. Roderick says he's got to be really careful not to make any noise while he digs, so the Boches don't hear what he's doing. But he's scared to death. Sure, he never knows if he's 10 centimeters or 10 meters from the German trenches. I'm sure they know what we're up to. Even if we wait until night to throw the dirt out over the trench, they surely can see the pile growing in White City. San Fairy Ann.”

William

Learn more about
Digging the Trenches

“Jesus we never get a break. James carried shells to the front line. He worked most of the night. We built up the barbed wires in front of the new trench. There's a lot to do b'y. Today, we sleep in the support trench. Another 10 days and we can return to the billets. Thank God, it stopped raining.”

William

Learn more about
Working at Night and Laying Barbed Wire

“Finally! We're done with chores for today. My clothes are so dirty, I had to do a bit of laundry. I used my helmet as a tub. James cooked our dinner in his… boiled bacon and cabbage. Yummy! Tom prefers to use sandbags instead of his helmet for the food. He says the sand adds some “crunch” to the meal. I'll tell you anything is better than bloody cold nettle soup. Sure we've got to be some strong to eat that and still be able to defend the Empire.”

William

Learn more about
Food Rations

“Bloody Hell! A rat ate the cake my Mother sent me. Those filthy rodents aren't afraid of nothing. They chew on the corpses of our comrades and steal our dinner. Though we do get an extra portion when the rats eat part of our meal. Our sergeant finds it rather strange though that the rats go after our rations more than after the others. Well, perhaps we do exaggerate just a little bit for the extra food.”

William

Learn more about
the Rats