James Kerr - Hygiene and sanitation

Running time
1 min 10 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


It was so important. So important. The flies, the ones that breed disease. You don't even want to let one fly to land on you, the cholera germ or dysentery germ. Of course, working on the trains we never had proper toiletry. Our toilet consisted of a long trench with logs across the gap, of course, and you just squatted on the logs. That, of course might be 10, 15, 20 feet deep, would just be one seething mass of maggots. So that wasn't a very pleasant smell. But if you had to go, you had to go. Urinals were generally a pipe just stuck in the ground, and that was your urinal. But the other part of it, of course, that was the only way we could manage a large volume of it. An open trench.

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