During the Great War other people subsisted in the areas near the frontline besides soldiers. Civilians continued to live there in spite of the combat. They included men, women, and children who could not afford to or did not wish to leave their city or village. Some others were temporary evacuees who returned once the frontline stabilized and the fighting moved away.
Both the German and the Allied armies had no choice but to monitor these civilians and control their movements. On either side of the frontline the military authorities enacted rules, obligations of safe-conducts and other official documents to control their movements. In spite of these measures they did not completely succeed in preventing clandestine travel.