Student Instructions: Running a Battalion

Running a Battalion in the First World War



In this activity, you will be given several documents that showcase daily life for a soldier living with their unit in the First World War (1914 – 1918). You will use primary source documents online through the Wateraloo at War website to learn details about daily soldier life. Using what you learn, your task is to assume you are a solider from the First World War and write a letter home describing what your life has been like while living with your unit.




  • Click on the following links to read soldiers’ letters from the First World War. Use the links to gather information about daily life for soldiers in a regiment.
  • File 28 (Circular Letters) Letters from 1st Division Officer outlining various training regiments.
  • File 29 (Canteen) p. 6. Letter from Lieut.-Col. Lochead to Capt. Spencer about the canteen.
  • File 29 (Canteen) p. 9. Abstract of receipts and expenditures in the canteen for February.
  • File 51 (Board of Inquiry)
  • File 7 (Discipline)
  • Using the information you have learned about living as a soldier, write an in-character letter to a loved one about daily life on the front lines during the war. Apply your knowledge learned in class of Canadian social history in this period to help write your letter.