A British sentry keeps watch at a trench junction entitled 'Courlay Trench' and 'Gordon Alley', 1917 (c)
Photograph, World War One, Western Front (1914-1918), 1917 (c).
Trenches were not dug randomly, but were part of a complex design. Each of the front line trenches was backed-up by second and third lines: 'support' and 'reserve' trenches. Communication trenches linked them all together. The support and reserve trenches were lined with underground shelters or dug-outs which were used as protection from enemy fire and the weather. To help with navigation, trenches were named after well-known streets in the soldiers' home towns. Signposts were put up and trench maps made.
Official photograph from an album relating to the Western Front.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection