Antedating of "Fox-Hole"

Hugo hugovk at GMAIL.COM
Mon Oct 21 10:03:34 UTC 2013

"fox hole" (OED: 1919, ProQuest Historical Newspapers: 9 Sept 1918, unconfirmed British Newspaper Archive: 12 July 1916)

Here's some from October 1915, November 1915, July 1916, September 1916, and January 1917 (written October 1916). The earlier ones are somewhat more permanent structures than a hole in the earth, but are still similarly refuges from artillery.


Chronicling America, New-York tribune., October 21, 1915, Page 9, Image 9, ""DER WEIBSTEUFEL" A DRAMATIC NOVELTY Play at German Theatre Has Only Three Characters."

The frontier guard has volunteered
to trap the smuggler in his "fox-hole."


Chronicling America, The evening world. (New York, N.Y.) 1887-1931, November 12, 1915, Final Edition, Image 2, "BIG GERMAN GUNS FAIL TO SHATTER FORTRESS OF SAND"

BERLIN (via London), Nov 12 --
Every rod of land is covered with
permanent trenches roofed securely
against shrapnel and shell fragments
and connected with so-called 'fox
holes,' small shelters where the gar-
risons are secure against the heaviest


Chronicling America, New-York tribune., July 31, 1916, Page 7, Image 7

The whole position is equipped also with "fox holes," which are proof against the heaviest artillery fire.


Papers Past, Marlborough Express, Volume L, Issue 201, 5 September 1916, Page 5

Australian and N.Z. Cable Association
(Received Sept. 5,  11.10 a.m.)
BERNE. Sept. 4.
King Ferdinand of Bulgaria nightly
takes refuge in the cellars of the
palace at Sofia. He is terrified of
a possible bombardment by Rou-
manian aeroplanes. The cellars
are luxuriously furnished. The floor
above has been specially strengthened
by steel plates and rendered bomb-


Trove, The Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW : 1894 - 1939) Monday 1 January 1917 p 8 Article:

"The "Daily Chronicle" Special Correspondent, Perceval Gibbon, with the British army in France, writing on Oct. 22. says:-
Extracted from a diary taken from a prisoner"
A man in the 14th Bavarians wrote des-
cribing a day under fire: "In one shell-hole
after another lie dirt-grey soldiers, in hur-
riedly deepened or hastily improvised fox-
holes. A nervous disquiet or a dull resigna-
tion is on all faces. In hell it can't be
worse at times. Continually wounded are
carried back, but many, lie buried alive."



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