History KS3 / KS4: What were trench conditions like in World War One?

Saul David looks at the excavation of trenches near Thiepval in France.

He looks at the effects of trench foot on soldiers and how they worked in pairs to look after each other’s feet.

The army took hygiene seriously to make sure soldiers were fit to fight.

He looks at a soldier’s wash kit that was essential in looking after themselves.

Teacher Notes

Key Stage 3 / Key Stage 4

Students could be shown a picture of a flooded trench in World War One.

In pairs they could annotate the picture using their prior knowledge of trench design to explain the possible causes of the flooding and why conditions were so poor.

Then they could add ideas about how soldiers could best look after themselves in such conditions.

Then when they have watched the clip they could add further ideas to the picture to explain what soldiers actually did to try and protect themselves.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching History at KS3 and KS4/GCSE in England Wales and Northern Ireland.

Also at 3rd Level, 4th Level, National 4/National 5 and Higher in Scotland.