Grandad met people in the trenches he would probably never rub shoulders with again as an administrator in the civil service. One, a sweep called Smithy, probably provided him a lesson in managing his finances. Grandad was a very careful man. This man used to gamble away all his earnings within 30 minutes of being paid.
Very late in his life Grandad found a brief outlet for his stories when, with the help of his daughter, he got involved with a Great War Society. His family had long ago grown weary of the subject - mud and rain featured in them particularly - but here were people keen to hear everything. He loved it!
Of course no recreations of trenches like they have in places like the Imperial War Museum, or visits to the "original trenches" at Ypres itself or films of the battles - I have done them all - can quite convey his experiences can it?