A play written by R.C. Sherriff and first performed in 1928, it tells the story of a group of middle-ranked members of the British army. The overall premise is "War is both unpleasant and ''un''necessary." However, it is shot through with a vein of dark humour, particularly from Mason and Trotter, making it ring much truer than many of its doom-and-gloom imitators.

The main characters are:
* [[TheCaptain Capt. Dennis Stanhope]], the ShellShockedVeteran (a rather tragic example, he's in his early 20s). He drinks heavily to deal with the war but won't take any time off because of a sense of duty and a fear that everyone he knows at home, including his fiancée, will find out what he's become.
* [[TeamMom Lt. Osborne]], Stanhope's fatherly second in command
* [[NewMeat Second Lt. Jimmy Raleigh]], Stanhope's old schoolfriend and future brother-in-law
* [[UpThroughTheRanks Second Lt. Trotter]], the token working-class officer
* [[NervousWreck Second Lt. Hibbert]], an officer who's as traumatised as Stanhope. He hopes to get home by faking illness.
* [[TeamChef Pvt. Mason]], the officers' [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep unnamed]] DeadpanSnarker chef
!!This play includes these tropes:
* TheAlcoholic: Stanhope. The first thing we ever hear about him is that he's "drinking like a fish".
* AntiHero: Stanhope is a heroic soldier and AFatherToHisMen, but his alcoholism and the stress of the war have left him with a darker side.
* BigBrotherMentor: Raleigh regards Stanhope as this from their school days
%% commented out as ZeroContextExample * BigEater: Trotter
* BolivianArmyEnding: Ends just as an all out assault by the Germans happens. With the surviving characters fates being left ambiguous.
%% commented out as ZeroContextExample * BrokenPedestal: Stanhope is afraid to turn out as one for Raleigh.
* ChefOfIron: Mason is the officers' cook, but he's a soldier all the same. When the time to go over the top comes, he puts them away and joins the rest of his unit.
* CoolOldGuy: Osbourne is viewed as one by the other characters.
* DeadpanSnarker:
** Mason doesn't go a single scene without saying something. He's even brave enough to speak out of turn to the officers.
** The German soldier they capture spends his entire interrogation scene making fun of the officer's German.
* DespairEventHorizon: [[spoiler: Stanhope is implied to cross this by the end.]]
* DownerEnding
* AFatherToHisMen:
** Osbourne is called "uncle" by most of the other officers, welcomes Raleigh, defends Stanhope's alcoholism to other officers and generally acts and a father figure to the other officers. Stanhope even jokes about him cleaning the dugout with a feather duster.
** Defied when Stanhope rages at Raleigh for "feeding with the men"; if he gets too familiar with them, they won't respect him.
* HairTriggerTemper: A [[JustifiedTrope justified example]] in Stanhope, as the stress of the war has left him a broken man.
%% commented out as ZeroContextExample * HopelessWar: Most of the main characters feel that the war is ultimately pointless.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: The [[JustifiedTrope stress of the war]] has left Stanhope with a severe drinking problem and a short temper, but he's still the same NiceGuy he was implied to be before deep down. Most apparent when he [[spoiler: comforts Raleigh as he's dying.]]
* TheMentor: Osbourne is older and more experienced than the other officers, looks out for Stanhope and [[spoiler: dies tragically in the second act.]]
* NaiveNewcomer: Raleigh. Which Stanhope constantly reminds him of.
* {{Nepotism}}: Raleigh has "lots of uncles, and things like that", one of whom he asked if if he could get into Stanhope's regiment, only to be rebuffed and told he can "take his change like everyone else". [[DoubleSubversion The next day, he was told to report to Stanhope's regiment.]]
%% commented out as ZeroContextExample * OfficerAndAGentleman: Stanhope and Osbourne, to a degree.
* SadClown: Hardy and Hibbert both try to snark and put on a cheerful face, but are clearly as traumatised as anyone. Everyone is trying to be one in the meal scene, by pretending to cheerfully enjoy a meal while pretending they aren't in a muddy hole, just days from a massive attack [[spoiler: just after they've lost Osbourne]] (except for Raleigh who can't bring himself to).
* TheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: A truly tragic example. [[spoiler: Stanhope shows just how deeply he cares for Raleigh when the latter is dying of his injuries. When Raleigh dies, he breaks completely.]]
* WarIsHell: It shows the conditions of the trenches quite candidly, based on R. C. Sherif's own experiences. And the officers have it relatively easy.