“The Listening Posts are Certainly our Night Lights”: Canadian Trench Newspapers During the Great War

Main Article Content

Eric Story


Living in the trenches during the First World War, Canadian soldiers experienced extreme levels of stress. There were unending days of monotony, mud craters filled with water, and food tins stuffed with all-­‐too-­‐familiar consumable goods. Soldiers responded to this seemingly unbearable environment by adopting a number of practices that helped ease the stresses of daily life. One of these practices was the publication of their very own newspapers. ‘Trench newspapers’ featured stories, poems and cartoons, laden with humour, irony and sarcasm. For its part, the 7th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force published its own newspaper called The Listening Post. This essay examines the eighth edition of The Listening Post, published in November 1915, to shed light upon soldier culture during the Great War. The essay reveals that trench newspapers provided soldiers with an invaluable means of dealing with life in the trenches.