The relationships between the men in the dugout point to a sense of trust and community that seems to help them cope with the horrors of trench life.
Even though Stanhope’s dislike of Hibbert is clear, he still encourages him. This conveys to the audience the importance of "getting on together". Stanhope says, "Shall we go on together? We know how we both feel now. Shall we see if we can stick it together?"
The rhetoric he uses here in convincing Hibbert that he is a part of a close team is what persuades Hibbert to carry on. Suggesting that Hibbert is not doing his duty for the other men in the company, and convincing him that they must “stick together” is what changes his mind.
Even the idea of an ‘enemy’ is brought into question as we are reminded by Raleigh that Germans are just ordinary people. He says, "The Germans are really quite decent, aren’t they? I mean, outside the newspapers?"
The audience reflects that German soldiers too were mostly naïve and enthusiastic young men, like the characters in the play. This is reinforced when we see the fear of the German soldier, called “boy” in the stage directions and described as “sobbing bitterly”.
The men are shown in a claustrophobic setting, stuck together day and night in cramped surroundings. As so much of the time is spent waiting, we see them getting to know each other well.
The use of formal surnames - normal in public schools and the army - is something the audience are forced to think about at the end of the play.
When Raleigh is dying he calls Stanhope "Dennis". Stanhope replies - to the audience’s surprise - with "Jimmy". While there is a hierarchy in the army, Sherriff shows that these men were - underneath it all - friends and comrades.