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A major problem in the trenches of the Western Front was a condition called trench foot, in which the foot swells up and begins to decay. It is generally caused by exposure to damp and cold conditions and where blood circulation is restricted. Soldiers were encouraged to wash their feet and change into dry socks regularly and their feet were often inspected. When soldiers left the front line trenches they could use special laundries to wash and change their clothes.

Washing their clothes removed any lice but this was often only a temporary relief as the lice would reappear after they returned to the confined spaces of the front line. At regular intervals, soldiers not on front line duties were given an opportunity to have a warm bath and change their clothes. Baths were usually large, communal spaces and often in makeshift locations, such as breweries.

Shaving regularly and maintaining basic standards of cleanliness was vital to sustain morale. Officers were expected to uphold standards of appearance amongst their men, although many relaxed the rules in difficult conditions. Toilets — known as latrines — were positioned as far away as possible from fighting and living spaces.

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The best latrines came in the form of buckets which were emptied and disinfected regularly by designated orderlies. Rubbish accumulated in trenches. Sandbags were often used to collect waste and hung up on the trench wall. Much of the waste generated came in the form of used cartridge cases. These were collected and sorted in large dumps behind the lines for recycling. Amanda Mason. Thursday 11 January Here are 10 ways a First World War soldier could stay healthy in the trenches. See object record.

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Related Content. By , the British were sending over 67 million lbs 30 million kg of meat to the Western Front each month. However, most soldiers would only spend an average of four days at a time in a front line trench.


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In return for fighting for their country, black veterans believed they deserved nothing less than the equality granted to every other citizen under the Constitution. But in the postwar years, many feared that any attempt to topple Jim Crow laws would result in prolonged racial conflict. Blacks who challenged prevailing laws often found themselves jailed, beaten or worse. Some of that violence was directed against black soldiers, some of whom were murdered in their uniforms. While Woodard lived to tell his story, his blindness left him unable to make a living. Woodard knew if he stayed in the South, he had no chance for justice against Shull, so he moved to New York City to live with his parents.

Welles also wrote a syndicated newspaper column and broadcast a weekly political commentary on the radio.

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Welles vowed to fight for Woodard because he had fought for his country. I have eyes. I have a voice on the radio. Until somebody beats me and blinds me I am in his debt. When South Carolina authorities refused to prosecute Shull, the Truman administration, pressured by the NAACP, filed federal charges because Woodard had been wearing his military uniform. Much to the dismay of the Truman administration, an all-white jury quickly exonerated Shull.


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  • Truman may have held little sway over the South Carolina courts. But he was not without influence.

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    And on July 26, , Truman issued an executive order desegregating the U. The Shull trial also deeply moved the presiding judge, J. Waties Waring. An eighth-generation Charlestonian, Waring had become more sympathetic on racial issues since marrying a social progressive from New York City. The Shull trial galvanized Waring. But his most significant decision came in his dissent in Briggs v.

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    Elliott , when he called school segregation unconstitutional. Briggs v. Elliott was combined with four other cases and decided by the U.

    Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education Meanwhile, Woodard faded into obscurity, dying in at the age of