Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Monday, August 31, 2015

Trench Foot

Trench foot, formerly known as chilled foot until it became a widespread malady in the Great War, occurs when the feet are wet for long periods of time. It can be quite painful, but it can be prevented and treated. Symptoms of trench foot include a tingling and/or itching sensation, pain, swelling, cold and blotchy skin, numbness, and a prickly or heavy feeling in the foot. The foot may be red, dry, and painful after it becomes warm. Blisters may form, followed by skin and tissue dying and falling off. The photo above shows an extreme case.

How did the military deal with Trench foot? Here's some documentation:


  1. Trench foot, frozen feet, immersion foot all caused by constantly wet feet. Even with care feet can still become infected.

  2. I wonder how easy it was to dry socks in the trenches?