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Trench Foot

By EricaSuzuki1 Jun 01, 2013 1492 Words
World War One:

Table of Contents:
What is Trench Foot?....................................pg3 Causes of Trench Foot?.................................pg4 Symptoms and Treatment……………………pg5 Why does it affect the soldiers during the world war one?...............................................pg6 Bibliography……………………………………..pg7

What is Trench Foot?
Many soldiers who fought in the First World War suffered from trench foot. Trench foot is a medical condition caused by long period of time in wet, cold conditions such as waterlogged trenches (5). It is one of many immersion foot syndromes—resembling frostbite (3). The use of the word “trench” in the name of the disease is referencing to the trench warfare and it mainly happened on soldiers’ feet (5). During World War One trench foot was known for a “nonbattle casualties” (Bull .67). It can be quite painful, but it can be prevented and treated. This letter describes how painful it was to have trench foot and how easily soldiers could loose their feet and legs from this horrible “If you have never had trench foot described to you, I will explain. Your feet swell to two disease. to three times their normal size and go completely dead. You can stick a bayonet into them and not feel a thing. If you are lucky enough not to lose your feet and the swelling starts to go down, it is then that the most indescribable agony begins. I have heard men cry and scream with pain and many have had to have their feet and legs amputated. I was one of the lucky ones, but one more day in that trench and it may have been too late.” (Harry Roberts)

This was written by Sergeant Harry Roberts of the Lancashire Fusiliers, a soldier who suffered from trench foot but lucky enough to leave the front before it was incurable. This is a reliable source because it was written by Sergeant Harry Roberts of the Lancashire Fusiliers during the war, and he had seen how horrible agonies of having this disease were.

Historical Significance: Trench foot is remembered today because it was a painful disease that took soldiers’ lives to become cripple forever. In the winter of 1914, 20,000 soldiers got trench foot and that was just in the British army alone. It been memorialized because of the hardships that soldiers faced during the first world war to get rid of trench foot completely, but some soldiers did not make it out with their feet or legs

The Causes of Trench Foot
During the war, the cause of trench foot is the exposure to damp conditions for more than half a day (7). Soldiers suffer from trench foot find that their feet turn red or blue due to poor circulation and oxygen in their feet (6). The soldiers will also notice a bad rotting smell and will be able to feel their feet swelling up. It will become cold to the touch; discoloured slightly (5). If untreated the tissue will swell with excess fluids and could turn gangrenous (6). The suffering of the trench foot may take up at least for weeks or months; if lucky the foot will start to look normal again (6). This picture describes the hardships that the soldiers faced during the First . World War to keep their socks and their feet dry. This was taken in January 9th 1918, a medical officer of the 12th East Yorkshire is inspecting for any symptoms of trench foot before the disease is incurable. This picture is reliable because it was taken during the First World War, by a medical officer of the 12th East Yorkshire organized in a support trench, near Reclincourt, in January 9th 1918.

Historical Significance: It also been memorialized for the hardships the foot inspectors’ faced to check all the soldiers feet, to see if there is no disease.

The results of the wet conditions were increasing as it continues to rain heavy. Officers ordered soldiers to put in more duck boards in the trenches.

The Symptoms and Treatment (Prevention)
During the World War One, there were different unique symptoms of trench foot such as the foot turning blue and red also blotchy appearance, blisters, pain numbness and abnormal swelling(2). The treatment for the soldiers is to have three pairs of socks and they are ordered to change their socks least twice a day (3). In 1916, the allies found a new weapon that can help prevent trench foot. Soldiers are ordered from their officers to cover their feet with a grease of whale-oil every day(3). 37.8 litres a day, men in the trenches found it more effective than wearing wet socks(3). Historical Significance: The result was dreadful to the soldiers; it was horrible, disgusting and painful to get trench foot. It led to a change of finding a new weapon; it was whale-oil to prevent more casualties of trench foot. It reveals about our understanding of the time period; First World War that officers tried to help out their men (soldiers) to avoid getting the disease. We can also infer that the soldiers were graceful that their officers found a way to reduce the chance getting trench foot.

This poster is intended audience is the soldiers. It describes to keep the feet dry and clean and not to get trench foot. This poster was in the World War One from the U.S warning about trench foot in 1917 to the soldiers. This poster is reliable because it was a poster during the first war warning the soldiers if the feet aren’t dry may lead to trench foot.

How the trench foot affect the soldiers during World War One(1914-1918) In this case during the World War One, trench foot is a horrible disease and it mainly happened to soldiers in cold, wet and muddy conditions (Winter.152).Trench foot literally rots the solders’ feet off; this was rough period for the soldiers because it delayed the time in which they could fight (Bull.66). Trench foot is very painful and could lead to other disease, such a trench fever (Bull.66). Extreme conditions of the trench foot on soldiers affect them from fighting in the war (Bull.67). Amputating happens to soldiers when the disease is untreatable, so the soldiers will be cripple forever and useless in the This letter is describes a war Dear John Murrin, “The trenches are muddy and the mud sinks into my boots. Now I have trench foot, but it is not fatal; it is a fungal infection on my feet, and it is painful. Not only are the trenches muddy, but they are also filthy with rats and lice. I am not fond of trench warfare. Perhaps war, in general, is not as exciting as I thought it would be…” Love from your big brother, William Murrin

soldier who is writing to his brother about the war and himself about his feet. It was written in by William Murrin, a Canadian soldier who

suffered from trench foot.
This letter is reliable because it happened in April 23, 1915 a Canadian soldier named William Murrin who fought in the Battle of Ypres wrote to his brother about his life during the war.

This picture is describes a soldier who is suffering from extreme trench foot, who may have lost his legs. This picture is taken in France, 1917, a Canadian soldier who is suffering from extreme case of trench foot. In 1917, France a Canadian soldier named Felix Cullen suffered an extreme case of trench foot and he lost his legs

Historical Significance:

Soldiers are remarkable because they did not give up even though the disease; trench foot took the lives for walking. Some soldiers who are crippled helped out other injured men during the war.

1. Bull, Stephen. Trench Warfare: Aspects of War. N.p.: PRC, 2003.Print 2. Celebden, Bollywood. “Trench Foot: Symptoms and Treatment.” Foot Care, 2010. Web.21 Mar.2013. . 3. Denis. "What Is Trench Foot?" WiseGEEK. N.p., 2003. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. . 4. Granatstein, J.L. Hell's Corner: An Illustrated History of Canada's Great War, 19141918. Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre, 2004. Print. 5. Mary Dr. "Trench Foot â Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Cure." Trench Foot Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Cure. N.p., 2010. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. . 6. McMillan, Peter. "Trench Foot." Trench Foot. Spartacus Educational, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. . 7. Passchendaele. Dir. Paul Gross. Perf. Paul Gross, Caroline Dhavernas, and Gil Bellows. 2009. DVD. YouTube. 28 Apr. 2011. Web. 24 Mar. 2013. . 8. Recinos, Mariela. "Amazing Cultures: WW1: Life in the Trenches." Amazing Cultures: WW1: Life in the Trenches. N.p., 2011. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. . 9. Trueman, Chris. "Memories from the Trenches." Memories from the Trenches. N.p., 2000. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. . 10. Warhorse. Dir. Steven Spoelberg. Perf. Jeremy Irvine. Movie2k. Marco Ronz, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2013. . 11. Winter, J. M. The Experience of World War I. Edinburgh: Southside, 1990. Print.

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