5 Facts you probably didn’t know about World War One


1. The average life expectancy for a British soldier in the trenches was approximately six weeks. The soldiers most at risk were junior officers and stretcher bearers.

2. When a group of miners detonated 900,000lbs of explosives at Messines Ridge in Belgium, not only was the German front line destroyed, but the explosions were so loud they were heard 140 miles away in Downing St.

3. More than 100,000 homing pigeons were used throughout the war. The most famous is one called Cher Ami, which delivered a message that saved 200 US soldiers, despite being hit by a bullet.

4. Many words which are now commonly spoken first came into being in the trenches, for example lousy and crummy for the lice that infested soldiers.

5. When soldiers returned home after the war there was a baby boom and births increased by a massive 45 percent between 1918 and 1920.