Along the Western Front in 1915 soldiers began incurring a previously unknown infectious disease that was originally thought to be an enteric fever. No records were kept (except by the Americans in 1918), but it is thought that the number of allied soldiers thus affected was about 500,000. The soldiers themselves called this disease “Trench Fever”. It was debilitating but the vast majority of those afflicted recovered in a few weeks, and deaths were extremely rare. However, there sometimes were lingering effects, for example, the famous British fantasy writer J.R.R. Tolkien caught Trench Fever in October 1916 and was never returned to full duty. You can read more about Trench Fever by clicking here.

Recently doctors at the University of Colorado found four cases of Trench Fever among the homeless population of Denver. You can read about this by clicking here.

James (“Jim”) Patton BS BA MPA is a retired state official from Shawnee, Kansas and a frequent contributor to several WW1 e-publications, including "Roads to the Great War," "St. Mihiel Tripwire," "Over the Top" and "Medicine in the First World War." He has spent many hours walking the WW1 battlefields, and is also an authority on British regiments and a collector of their badges. An Army Engineer during the Vietnam War, he does work for the US World War 1 Centennial Commission and has memberships in the WW1 Historical Association, the Western Front Association, the Indian Military Historical Society and the Salonika Campaign Society.