I love a dog. He does nothing for political reasons. — Will Rogers

Great War - Journal #16

Tommy in Waterlogged Trench
British soldier in a waterlogged trench late in the war.

What is your first name?

What is your last name?


Why would soldiers in World War One start questioning why they were fighting? Remember these were often the same men who were excited to go to war three years earlier. What had changed?
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In his autobiography, Father Figures, Kingsley Martin wrote about how soldiers reacted when they had been wounded.

A common dodge was to shoot your foot through a sandbag so that the powder did not show. A guard was put to watch anyone who damaged himself. What I recall most from that time is the total loss of belief that the war had any object; it was just an incredible calamity that had to be endured. They were men without faith or hope. They were bitterly critical about people at home. They never grudged your comparatively cushy job. They would give you a dig in the ribs, Oh, you're a Quaker, are you? Good luck to you. I wish I'd thought of that dodge myself. You'd been smarter than they had. A disconcerting view as long as you remained any kind of idealist.

  • How did some soldiers get out of the fighting?
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  • How did these men feel about their role in the war?
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  • How did the men regard those at home?
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