Conditions in the trenches were appalling; they ranged from smelly and dusty pit holes in the summer to knee-deep water and mud filled ditches in the winter. Although mainly problems were physical e.g. plagues of rats and lice, and trench foot, the most significant enemy to a soldier in the trenches was boredom. This occurred as soldiers did not spend all their time fighting on the front line, they had to repair kit and do sentry duty. This though, did not take long resulting in soldiers having nothing to do for the rest of the day. Many tried to keep boredom away by writing diaries, and trying to go to sleep. But with the constant noise of other soldiers and the threat of bombardment by the enemy resulted in these ideas not working most of the time.
The Generals due to this, had to try and keep the soldiers' spirits high and allow them to forget the cynical struggle of war and to recuperate in a friendly and peaceful atmosphere. One of the places that soldiers were sent to was a place called Talbot House in the Belgian town of Poperinge. Talbot house was a place where soldiers were able to rest and entertain themselves forgetting the cruelties of war for a period of time. In Talbot House two ma