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Over The Top Arthur Guy Empey

"Tommy's Dictionary Of The Trenches"

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"Getting the sparks." Bullets from a machine gun cutting enemy barbed wire at night; when a bullet strikes wire it generally throws off a bluish spark. Machine gunners use this method at night to "set" their gun so that its fire will command the enemy's trench.

"Ginger." Nickname of a red-beaded soldier; courage; pep.

"Gippo." Bacon grease; soup.

G.M.P. Garrison Military Police. Soldiers detailed to patrol the roads and regulate traffic behind the lines. Tommy's pet aversion.

G.O.C. General Officer Commanding. Tommy never sees him in the act of "commanding," but has the opportunity of reading many an order signed "G.O.C."

Goggles. An apparatus made of canvas and mica which is worn over the eyes for protection from the gases of German "tear shells." The only time Tommy cries is when he forgets his goggles or misses the mm issue.

"Going in." Taking over trenches.

"Going out." Relieved from the trenches.

"Gone West." Killed; died.

"Gooseberries." A wooden frame in the shape of a cask wrapped round with barbed wire. These gooseberries are thrown into the barbed-wire entanglements to help make them impassable.

"Got the Crown." Promoted to Sergeant-Major.

Green Envelope. An envelope of a green color issued to Tommy once a week. The contents will not be censored regimentally, but are liable to censor at the base. On the outside of envelope appears the following certificate, which Tommy must sign: "I certify on my honor that the contents of this envelope refer to nothing but private and family matters." After signing this certificate Tommy immediately writes about everything but family and private matters.

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Groom. A soldier who looks after an officer's horse and who robs said horse of its hay. He makes his own bed comfortable with this hay.

Grousing. A scientific grumbling in which Tommy cusses everything in general and offends no one.

G.S.W. Gunshot wound. When Tommy is wounded he does not care whether it is a G.S.W. or a kick from a mule, just so he gets back to Blighty.

G.S. Wagon. A four-wheeled wagon driven by an A.S.C. driver. It carries supplies, such as food, ammunition, trench tools, and timber tor dugouts. When Tommy gets sore feet he is allowed to ride on this wagon and fills the ears of the driver with tales of his wonderful exploits. Occasionally one of these drivers believes him.

Gum Boots. Rubber boots issued to Tommy for wet trenches. They are used to keep his feet dry; they do, when he is lucky enough to get a pair.

"Gumming the game." Spoiling anything, interfering.


"Hair brush." Name of a bomb used in the earlier stages of the war. It is shaped like a hair brush and is thrown by the handle. Tommy used to throw them over to the Germans for their morning toilette.

"Hand grenade." A general term for a bomb which is thrown by hand. Tommy looks upon all bombs with grave suspicion; from long experience he has learned not to trust them, even if the detonator has been removed.

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Over The Top
Arthur Guy Empey

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