As I said in a recent post, reading Edmund Blunden's Undertones of War is heart-breaking. But I am also always amazed at the humor that persisted under the horrific conditions: you have to shake your head and smile sometimes.
For instance: the naming of trenches and other military locations. Blunden mentions the following trenches: Jacob's Ladder; Kentish Caves; Half Moon Street; St. Martin's Lane; Haymarket; Piccadilly; Esperanto Terrace; Coney Street; The Great Wall of China. In addition to the trenches, Blunden mentions Valley Cottages (a battalion headquarters); Oskar Copse and Wilde Wood (adjacent battlefield features); Ocean Villas (a play on the name of a village - Auchonvillers - near the trenches).
Blunden includes a poem entitled 'Trench Nomenclature' in the final section of Undertones of War. Here are the first two lines and the final two lines of the poem:
Genius named them, as I live! What but genius could compress
In a title what man's humour said to man's supreme distress?
. . .
Ah, such names and apparitions! name on name! What's in a name?
From the fabled vase the genie in his cloud of horror came.