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‘A world of stealth’: life in the trenches of the First World War

The Story

Trench warfare is most associated with the First World War thanks to advances in weaponry in the early 20th century. Soldiers on both sides dug into a "strange, unearthly world of stealth" which wove its way through the Western front, living there for months and even years. On the CBC radio series Flanders' Fields, World War I veterans, including former Toronto Star reporter Gregory Clark, describe the routine hardship endured by the soldiers who inhabited these filthy "ditches."

Medium: Radio
Program: Flanders' Fields
Broadcast Date: Dec. 20, 1964
Host: J. Frank Willis
Guests: Gregory Clark, Alex Ross, G.E. Bain, A.R. Cousins, C. Scriven, D.M. Ormond,
Duration: 10:43
Credit: Horace Brown / Library and Archives Canada / PA-107276

Did You know?

• Gregory Clark served with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles during the First World War, and won the Military Cross for his service at Vimy Ridge. After the war he returned to his job as a reporter for the Toronto Star, where he had been working since 1911, and continued to work for them until 1947. He went overseas during the Second World War as a reporter, and was awarded the Service Medal of the Order of Canada. Listen to Clark describe his friend and artistic collaborator, the cartoonist Jimmy Frise.

• Listen here for a clip describing the slit trenches of World War II.


The First World War: Canada Remembers more