Many soldiers were evacuated from the front line suffering with trench foot. Prolonged exposure to damp, unsanitary, and cold conditions caused boils and sores, which could lead to fungal infections, gangrene, and even amputation. Keeping one’s feet dry and regularly changing one’s socks were two ways to help stop the spread of trench foot.
Many people back home sewed or knitted warm clothing, including socks, for family and friends at the front. Knitters often included notes or poems with the items they made. Sometimes a correspondence would develop with the soldiers which could continue through the war.
Other diseases such as influenza, typhoid, trench fever, malaria and diabetes were present during the war, caused by exposure to wet and damp conditions. Two out of three soldiers died in battle, the rest died due to infections or disease.
Lest We Forget.
Photograph and some information comes from the Australian War Memorial. Image file number AWM E00081.