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Voyage Pays de Galles / Trip to Wales

Poilus' letters and diaries

Publié le samedi 7 avril 2018 16:53 - Mis à jour le samedi 7 avril 2018 16:55

Poilus' letters and diaries :


1°) Living conditions :


Soldiers suffered a lot because of / from their injuries = wounds

The climate was unbearable, it was freezing cold / frozen limbs, and especially the extreme parts such as the hands

Corpses everywhere even on the sides of the roads

Constant nightmarish visions of the battlefield

Constant smell of blood and dead bodies, like rotten flesh

Extremely = deeply = highly = utterly noisy / chaos, very often under bombings without any real shelters

Heavy helmets and backpacks

Hard to be cured = healed

Mud, rats that were biting the soldiers when they were sleeping + carrying lice and fleas, tasteless cold food / repetitive meals + lack of basic necessities / uncomfortable / small portions / sometimes had to eat rats and roots / grass    

Lots of diseases, very few doctors, infections were spreading, so no hope of a recovery, no glimmer of hope


No opportunity to escape = run away = fly away = flee

Soldiers suffered a lot because of / from their injuries

self-mutilation to stop the fight = struggle in order to = so as to go back home which proves the extent of the horror of the situation which is highly critical

not much room, feel stuck

no rest, no respite, many lice jumping on their faces, you feel like scratching all the time and this is hardly bearable

no washing, no brushing of your teeth, no shaving that is why they are called the « poilus »

extremely exhausted / worn out because of sleepless nights

no training to fight

obliged to bury the dead soldiers




2°) Feelings / impressions :


Scared = frightened = panic-stricken = afraid < terrified = horrified = in a panic

fear of death / of dying

die = passing away = breathing one's last

soldiers turn out to become emotionless when they are obliged = contrived = forced = compelled to kill enemies = foes = adversaries / opponents

wish they could die to put an end to their suffering = sorrow


miss their families, rare = seldom letters (very long to arrive)

feels humiliated, lose their humanity = deprived of their identity

overwhelmed / surrounded by death, doomed to die = bond to die

solidarity between the soldiers, feel close to each other, to be willing to =ready to help your friends because you are in the same tragic situation

angry = furious = mad because of the incompetences of the superior + incapacity to make a decision / rebellious, frustrated, find the situation pointless, no goal = aim = purpose to this war which is perceived as absurd

post-traumatic syndrom after war, no help from society, no psychologist to help you overcome the war difficulties = hardships = hurdles / obstacles = impediment = hindrances

terrifying because of discovery of corpses and detached limbs

gloomy atmosphere / stressful = tense




torn apart = dilemma

misunderstood by the civilians / people do not realize all the sacrifices soldiers had to make

proud of protecting their country

turn upside down





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