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Letter from 28 Canadian Battalion, France, February 2, 1918

Letter from 28 Canadian Battalion, France, February 2, 1918 - Page 1
Letter from 28 Canadian Battalion, France, February 2, 1918 - Page 2
Letter from 28 Canadian Battalion, France, February 2, 1918 - Page 3
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Much of the fighting during World War I took place from trenches dug by both sides in the conflict. These trenches dug out of the mud and earth and reinforced with planks, sandbags and other supports were home to most of the million or more soldiers fighting on the Western Front for the duration of the war. Damp, muddy, disease-ridden and cold, they stretched for miles across the countryside of Northern France, sometimes a matter of a few hundred yards separating enemy lines. Going over the top meant climbing from your trench to charge at the enemy’s trench. A few yards might be gained or lost but the casualty lists were staggering. Lives were expended at an alarming rate as soldiers became mere cannon fodder, food for the guns.

1. What gives Lance Corporal Watt a feeling of optimism? What dispels that feeling, however?


2. According to Lance Corporal Watt what is the one common denominator for every soldier serving at the front?


3. What happens every Sunday?


4. Compare the tone of this letter to earlier ones and account for the change.