The trenches were not a pleasant place to be. There was always gun firing, or bomb shells flying by. It was horrible, all the screams of comrades and enemies, pleading for saviors. Sleepless night, the fear of an attack always running in the soldiers heads.
The trenches used to be full water after rain; the water level was sometimes up to the soldier's knees. This caused, after the water started running through the soil, the mud to eventually become sticky, and decreased the speed of the soldiers moving.
With relieve, after 48h, the men would be sent behind enemy lines, were they would rest and return after another 48h.
The Germans first presented the gas attack on October 27, 1914 at Ypres. The gas attack consisted of chlorine, which would destroy eyesight, and make the victim couch out its lungs, unless the chlorine hits the brain first. The Germans had shot out 3,000 gas canisters, which were only thrown when the wind was blowing at the enemies' direction.
The soldiers had received gas masks after the attack, which were made by the women at home.
No one, but the soldiers knew the living conditions of the trenches. There were no disposal areas, but the parapet. There were always rats nibbling on the dead human flesh, and the smell of blood was always in the air, it wasn't a pleasant place at all.
To conclude the trenches where used for defense reasons which protected many harmless people from harm. Apparently, the Germans never got through the French trenches due to the Canadian soldiers. The Canadians were the most proud hero fights of that generation.