Ola O asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

About The 1st World War?

What did feel like to be in a trench.


Why were british soliders called "Tommys"

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I've heard some interesting theories on this. But I think it is more or less a combination of things, so here goes.

    Tommies or Tommy Atkins, comes from the Old Colonial Period British Marine soldiers most of whom had the name or last name Thomas, and the last name Atkins being a very common surname as well to many Protestant soldiers of the British Empire.

    During World War I, the first war in which a majority of soldiers were both literate and multinational, it was necessary to dehumanize or in most likely cases culturally categorize the enemies and allies with epitaphs like: Joe or Doughboys (Americans); Jerry or Huns (German), Pierre (French); Pogues (Irish); Tommy or Rus Beof (British); Shitskins (Indian) or (Turk), to name a few.

    Source(s): History classes and books on WWI
  • 1 decade ago

    Tommy Atkins or Thomas Atkins was the generic name for British soldiers. There is a lot of dispute about where or when this came about.

    Trenches were often very muddy and full of waste and garbage and altogether unpleasant and very unhealthy. Collapses, trench foot, trench fever, and enemy bullets, shells etc all made them even more awful

  • 1 decade ago

    It sucked to be in a trench. It was wet, disease was ramped, you had to eat and crap at the same place. You slept with your head in the mud. Lice, Mice... etc.

    Total guess, but I would say it had something to do with the new Tommy Gun.

    "The Thompson Submachine Gun was designed by General John T. Thompson, who was inspired by the trench warfare of World War I to develop a "one-man, hand-held machine gun", firing a rifle caliber round."

    Source(s): Brain, Wiki.
  • 1 decade ago

    there is a book that addresses this subject the best. It is entitled OVER THE TOP and was written by a WWI soldier. It was so popular that it went into hundreds of printings. It is a quick read

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