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The Great War, National Library of Schotland

World War I Images From National Library of SchotlandCreated by: PICRYLDated: 1914
King George V and Allied commanders, France, during World War I
World War I (WWI or WW1), also known as the First World War, or the Great War, was a global war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. World War I Images From National Library of Schotland.
These photographs form part of the papers of Field Marshal (Earl) Haig (1861-1928), held by the National Library of Scotland. More information is available from the Library's Digital Archive.

Like many World War I generals, Haig remains a controversial figure. The collection contains diaries, papers and photographs from every part of Haig’s career, the Great War diaries being of special importance to historians.

Photographs in the "Official Photographs" series (which were destined for publication and have captions on the back describing the image) are in black-and-white. World War I saw the development of a system of 'official’ reporting by professionals especially recruited into the forces. Initially reluctant to allow cameras near the fighting, it took some time for the authorities to appreciate the propaganda and recording potential of photography.

These photographs provide us with an invaluable record of how the Government and Military wanted the war perceived. Official photographers were encouraged to record morale-boosting scenes of victory and comradeship. Despite the restrictions placed on them, official war photographers succeeded in giving the most comprehensive visual account of the war. It is important to remember that these images were propaganda; few that could depict the war in a disheartening or disconcerting way passed the censors. As a result the photograph taken was often posed. They were intended to reassure those at home and boost morale. They were printed in newspapers, and were intended to confirm that 'Tommy' was winning the war.
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King & Queen and H.R.H. The Prince of Wales

King & Queen and H.R.H. The Prince of Wales

King George V, Queen Mary and H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, taken during a visit to the Western Front in France. They are positioned in front of a large brick building with French windows. The King and Queen are ... more

View of Quant where we broke the Hindenburg Line

View of Quant where we broke the Hindenburg Line

The village of Quant, France: the road that runs through the village is bordered on both sides by ruined buildings. Any walls that remain standing are being supported by wooden logs. Most of the damage, however... more

Prisoners coming in and troops moving up

Prisoners coming in and troops moving up

This picture more than adequately illustrates the common factors of the war experience. The sticky knee-deep mud, the criss-crossing of trenches and the flat bombed-out landscape can all be clearly seen here. .... more

French armoured cars and British transport going forward in France

French armoured cars and British transport going forward in France

Two columns are advancing down this narrow, dirt road towards the camera - giving the scene an air of immediacy. One column comprises horses and some carriages, while the other is made up of small armoured cars... more

Machine gun nest

Machine gun nest

Machine gunners. They have positioned themselves on a summit overlooking a large area of farmland. The height of the summit enables them to see for a great distance, and the cover of trees and bushes ensures th... more

Showing the railway lines near the station

Showing the railway lines near the station

Damage to railway lines, Albert, France, during World War I. It is likely that these damaged railway lines were targeted very deliberately. Railway links were vitally important to any army during World War I as... more

Y.M.C.A. tent on the ground

Y.M.C.A. tent on the ground

YMCA tent at a show. The picture is taken in a grassy field which has small conifers dotted about in it. A huge tent is obscuring the rest of the background, although more tents are just visible through the lac... more

After duty, anti-aircraft gunners indulge in the old-time winter sport

After duty, anti-aircraft gunners indulge in the old-time winter sport

With their battery of guns immediately behind them, these anti-aircraft gunners take a light-hearted break from the war to take part in a peaceful fight. As can be seen from the grouped lorries, this is a motor... more

View of Tilloy which we have captured

View of Tilloy which we have captured

This photograph is believed to have been taken by the official war photographer, John Warwick Brooke, for propaganda purposes. Although not initially positive in outlook, the destruction in this photograph coul... more

British cavalry passing the ruins of Albert cathedral, France, during World War I

British cavalry passing the ruins of Albert cathedral, France, during ...

British cavalry passing the ruins of Albert cathedral, France, during World War I. World War I provided endless striking subjects for a photographer as skilled as Tom Aitken. There is something very funereal ab... more

Wounded Tommy showing his helmet with a piece blown out

Wounded Tommy showing his helmet with a piece blown out

Soldiers who have had their wounds dressed are sitting along a bank, drinking tea. One of them, who has a bandaged head, is being shown his damaged steel helmet by one of the First Aid workers. The photographe... more

Cyclist scouts travelling along a road, France, during World War I

Cyclist scouts travelling along a road, France, during World War I

Cyclist scouts travelling along an extremely muddy road. None of them are actually riding their bicycles, they walk alongside them. All the men are wearing steel helmets and are fully armed and equipped. The co... more

View of Thilloy

View of Thilloy

This shows a cavalry unit in a ruined French town. The men have dismounted and a few stand by the horses, while the rest are looking at the ruins. The German policy of devastating towns and villages as they ret... more

Raiding party getting clear of a sap and racing towards the Boche trenches

Raiding party getting clear of a sap and racing towards the Boche tren...

The photograph has been taken looking along a trench, over the tops of the helmets of the soldiers waiting their turn to climb out. One man is heaving himself over the edge while three others are out and runnin... more

Tank in action

Tank in action

A tank, with guns apparently firing, crossing a trench or shell-hole. The tank appears to be a Mark I type, nicknamed, 'Mother'. These were the first tanks used in action and were developed from a prototype dem... more

Bridging a mine crater on a road

Bridging a mine crater on a road

This scene of busy activity is thought to have been captured by the official war photographer, John Warwick Brooke. Although not strictly a useful propaganda image, such records of everyday war activity have re... more

Boche machine gun crew captured with their gun

Boche machine gun crew captured with their gun

German machine gun crew under guard, Western Front, during World War I. A captured German machine gun crew can be seen in this photograph. They are carrying their machine gun and are escorted by British soldier... more

Where the flour is made into dough

Where the flour is made into dough

This photograph shows a large wooden warehouse set up for making dough for bread for the army. Large wooden troughs set on trestles were used for mixing the dough. All ingredients such as water would have been ... more

Funeral of British Red Cross Nurse who was killed during the German Air Raid on Red Cross Hospital

Funeral of British Red Cross Nurse who was killed during the German Ai...

Funeral procession for Red Cross nurse, Western Front, during World War I. This is one of three photographs attributed to Tom Aitken which show the funeral of a British Red Cross nurse who died during a German ... more

German 5.9 gun and limber near Bullecourt

German 5.9 gun and limber near Bullecourt

A German gun and limber abandoned at the edge of a field, near Bullecourt, France. The ground has been too soft for moving such a heavy piece of machinery, hence the left wheel sinking into the ground. The gun ... more

Working party returning from their night's work

Working party returning from their night's work

This photograph, attributed to John Warwick Brooke, shows a detachment walking over a plank bridge carrying the picks and shovels they used for digging trenches. Work at night not only hindered the enemy from s... more

Aerial photograph, Lombartzyde, Belgium, 1917

Aerial photograph, Lombartzyde, Belgium, 1917

This is a copy of an aerial photograph. The annotations show that it covers the area of marshy coastland near the Belgian village of Lombartzyde. The numbers below the north arrow identify the flight and give t... more

Blown up bridge at Nesle which town the British captured

Blown up bridge at Nesle which town the British captured

The remains of a wooden bridge that once traversed this canal can be seen stacked up in the background. As a temporary replacement, a makeshift bridge of wood and corrugated iron has been constructed. A group o... more

View of the main street in Puisieux

View of the main street in Puisieux

Destruction at Puisieux, France, during World War I. A muddy dirt-track road wends its way into the countryside in the distance. The trees here have been stripped bare and only stumps are left. Either side of t... more

Paddy, a gassed case

Paddy, a gassed case

Bandaged dog that worked in the front line trenches, in France, during World War I. With bandages on all four paws, this dog - called 'Paddy' - carried out a range of hazardous duties in a front line trench, de... more

Men of an English county regiment crossing a temporarily constructed bridge

Men of an English county regiment crossing a temporarily constructed b...

Four uniformed men walking across a temporary bridge. Each man is pushing a wheelbarrow filled with stones. Two of the men are glancing over their shoulders toward the camera. Visible in the background are a nu... more

R.H.A. going through the river at a gallop

R.H.A. going through the river at a gallop

Royal Horse Artillery in a river, France. At least two gun teams of the Royal Horse Artillery are galloping in the water along a shallow river bed. The landscape appears very wooded so the river may have provid... more

Scene on the ground

Scene on the ground

Dancers at a divisional sports day, France, during World War I. The photograph is taken in a grassy field which is bound on the far side of the picture by some very dense trees. They are huge trees and are crea... more

Captured Boche gun on the roadside

Captured Boche gun on the roadside

Unusually there is a bike parked up against the side of this gun, despite the incredibly rough, soggy terrain. The soldiers in this photograph look rather jaunty and are posing beside their victorious capture. ... more

Balmorals composing songs

Balmorals composing songs

A piano has been set on a stair outside a front doorway. The building is long and low and has windows opening down the side. Two older women are standing in the door and kids are hanging out of the windows. The... more

Returning from leave and nearing the old spot again

Returning from leave and nearing the old spot again

Soldiers carrying equipment and possessions. One of the soldiers has an accordion. There is a truck and a radio mast in the background...[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE FRONT IN FRANCE. Retu... more

Raiding party returning after the raid, showing barrage behind them

Raiding party returning after the raid, showing barrage behind them

Six soldiers are silhouetted black against the skyline and viewed through a tangle of barbed wire. The men are running back towards the trench. One appears to be climbing over wire. They are holding their rifle... more

Big gun raising the dust as it is fired

Big gun raising the dust as it is fired

A heavy gun has just been fired. One of the crew has his hands over his ears because of the noise. The psychological effect of the constant noise of shelling caused severe stress often resulting in shellshock. ... more

Salvage of the battlefield near Bapaume

Salvage of the battlefield near Bapaume

Soldiers stand next to salvage recovered from a battlefield near Bapaume, France. This includes helmets, kitbags, coats and rifles. The scene around them is one of devastation. The battlefield is muddy and stre... more

Taking no risks with enemy duds

Taking no risks with enemy duds

Three gunners standing over a large shell. One man is bending over the shell, preparing to explode it using guncotton. The other two men, both wearing steel helmets, look on. A makeshift fence has been placed r... more

Where the yeast is stored

Where the yeast is stored

Bakers checking their yeast, Western Front, during World War I. Three bakers in white uniforms standing at the yeast store. The yeast is in sacks which appear to be laid on a wooden framework around an air vent... more

Cavalry crossing a temporary bridge

Cavalry crossing a temporary bridge

Cavalry on the move, during World War I. A line of relaxed cavalrymen are crossing a small, narrow bridge. The wintry landscape is clearly visible. Two foot soldiers sit with their jerry cans and watch the cava... more

Presentation of the Military Medal by General Plumer to nurses for their courageous conduct when their hospital was bombed by German airmen

Presentation of the Military Medal by General Plumer to nurses for the...

General Plumer presenting medals, France, during World War I. This image shows General Plumer pinning the Military Medal to a nurse's cape. There are a further three nurses standing in line awaiting this honour... more

Summer has been changed to winter by the British guns

Summer has been changed to winter by the British guns

Battlefield on Messines Ridge, Belgium, 1917. The landscape is dominated by broken off and stripped trees. The ground is very muddy and full of craters. The entrance and supports to a dugout are outlined in the... more

Crowd round the gangway as Gen. Pershing lands in France

Crowd round the gangway as Gen. Pershing lands in France

Uniformed men await the arrival of General Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Force. The photographer, mostly likely John Warwick Brooke, has managed to capture the general excitement an... more

Spanish Officers in one of the many villages wrecked by the Germans

Spanish Officers in one of the many villages wrecked by the Germans

Spanish officers surrounded by the debris of a bombed or shelled building. According to the original caption they are in a village that has been ruined by the Germans. It is impossible to tell from this photogr... more

Portuguese entering a gas trench

Portuguese entering a gas trench

At the bottom right corner of the photograph is the entrance to a trench. It doesn't look very deep and is supported by sandbags up its sides. The background is dominated by the side of a steep hill. This is gr... more

King of Belgium's chaffeur in trouble

King of Belgium's chaffeur in trouble

Three cars are parked up in a row with three mechanics working over four tyres behind them. Four officers watch over the scene and they appear to be laughing and joking. In the background a field and tents are ... more

British tanks going forward to check the German advance

British tanks going forward to check the German advance

The advantages of caterpillar tracks on tanks can be clearly seen here. These four tanks are travelling through a churned up and boggy mess with relative ease. The soldiers travelling on them also look relaxed.... more

Highlanders having a rest on their way from the trenches

Highlanders having a rest on their way from the trenches

This photograph shows a group of kilted soldiers from one of the Highland Regiments. The men are resting, leaning against the wall of a large shell-damaged building. Their relief at getting away from the trench... more

Balmorals entertainment troupe of a Scottish division

Balmorals entertainment troupe of a Scottish division

Five men, dressed in clown costumes, are standing in a half circle around a chair. There is another man sitting on the chair this time in a dress and high-healed shoes. They are in a fenced enclosure in what ap... more

Mr Younger(?),  the Principal, Barcley/Bardy(?) and Douglas

Mr Younger(?), the Principal, Barcley/Bardy(?) and Douglas

Sir Douglas Haig (1861-1928) has been photographed in academic robes, possibly on the occasion of being conferred with an honorary degree. Haig had been educated at Brasenose College Oxford between 1880 and 188... more

Padre having a few cheery words with a wounded man whilst he is bought in on a light railway

Padre having a few cheery words with a wounded man whilst he is bought...

A wounded man being transported by light railway. He is lying on a stretcher, placed across an open-sided trolley or cart that runs along the tracks. Painted on the end of the trolley is the number '61.' He has... more

Outpost trench built around a cottage

Outpost trench built around a cottage

A machine-gun unit are using a cottage as a useful outpost. The gun itself is positioned to fire through the cottage window. The remainder of the group are standing below the line of fire in a defended trench. ... more

Locomotive abandoned in front of Thiepval

Locomotive abandoned in front of Thiepval

This photograph is from a French postcard printed in Paris. It shows the ruined village of Thiepval, in the northern Somme area. Two soldiers, possibly French, are looking at an abandoned engine which may have ... more

Main road from Vendelles to Vermand

Main road from Vendelles to Vermand

A rather bleak and desolate road. The mature trees on the right of the road, and the telegraph poles on the left, have been chopped down. According to the photograph's original caption this road leads from Vend... more

Machine gun post in a barn

Machine gun post in a barn

The machine gun seen here has been set up at the opening to a barn. Two men sit directly behind it and one man kneels in the background. A fourth man can also be seen off to the right. The machine guns used dur... more

Laying down a line on the ground just captured from the Germans

Laying down a line on the ground just captured from the Germans

Laying railway lines, during World War I. A track runs down the middle of a trench and teams of men are working to move and lay lines and sleepers. They are dressed in heavy coats and scarves. The battlefield i... more

Twelve horse teams are used in taking ammunition over the heavy ground

Twelve horse teams are used in taking ammunition over the heavy ground

A team of twelve horses pulling a four-wheeled cart or carriage, during World War I. The horses are harnessed in pairs, with one man guiding a horse from each pair...[Original reads: 'Twelve horse teams are use... more

Looking down the Rue Sadi-Carnet at Bethune

Looking down the Rue Sadi-Carnet at Bethune

Two British soldiers walking through the shell-damaged streets of Bethune, France, during World War I. With shell-damaged buildings all around them, these two British soldiers make their way through the Picardi... more

Rifle inspection after being relieved from the front line

Rifle inspection after being relieved from the front line

Rifle inspection, Western Front, during World War I. Soldiers who have just come out of the trenches have cleaned their rifles and are lining up for the weapons to be checked by a sergeant. Another sergeant is ... more

View of the village of Courcelles

View of the village of Courcelles

This photograph of Courcelles, near Bapaume, shows shattered buildings on either side of the village street. This photograph is likely to have been taken in the autumn of 1918, after the Allies had recaptured m... more

H.M. on Wytschaete Ridge

H.M. on Wytschaete Ridge

King George V, on the right, in uniform and wearing a steel helmet. He is standing next to a man also in uniform. Both men have canes to steady themselves on this rough terrain. They are both surveying the surr... more

Tommies arriving home at Mud Terrace

Tommies arriving home at Mud Terrace

Four soldiers walking towards the camera. The man on the far left is wearing a long overcoat, the other three have waterproof capes. All four are wearing steel helmets. To the left there is a row of tents. It i... more

Tommy versus French school-children

Tommy versus French school-children

Like some traditional winter scene on a Christmas card, this photograph captures a snowball fight between two 'Tommies' and a group of laughing French schoolchildren. Given the manner in which the Germans were ... more

Infantry waiting to attack during World War I

Infantry waiting to attack during World War I

Infantry are crouched in line in a very narrow trench. Their tension is clear in the taut outline of their bodies and in the face of the one young soldier who is looking back towards the camera. The trench is q... more

Advanced dressing station

Advanced dressing station

An ambulance parked outside a dressing station. The dressing station appears to have been set up in the ground floor of a partly demolished building, possibly a mansion or a municipal building as it has quite ... more

Signallers working at the headquarters of R.E.S.S. in France, during World War I

Signallers working at the headquarters of R.E.S.S. in France, during W...

Just like a team of operators working at a busy telephone switchboard, this image shows the network of communications at company HQ that was required to co-ordinate an armys activities. The object immediately i... more

Civilians in a newly captured village are delighted at the arrival of British troops

Civilians in a newly captured village are delighted at the arrival of ...

British soldiers and French civilians standing in a ruined village. The soldiers and civilians are talking to one another. A few young children are milling about looking very cold. The scene surrounding them is... more

Lumber Jack bringing in a log

Lumber Jack bringing in a log

This action shot shows two horses pulling a large tree trunk across a snow-covered stretch of open ground. The trunk has been chained to what appears to be a large gun carriage. One man controls the horses usin... more

Tanks showing some of their antics during the King's visit to their Headquarters

Tanks showing some of their antics during the King's visit to their He...

British tanks on training manoeuvres, in France, during World War I. This photograph of an advancing tank dwarfing British troops, gives an idea of the scale of tanks, and the power they brought to the front li... more

Cathedral at Ypres as it appeared at the end of 1916

Cathedral at Ypres as it appeared at the end of 1916

The ruined tower of St Martin's Cathedral dominates the right hand side of the picture. To the left, one soldier stands in front of the doorway and another is walking away from the ruins. The photographer, John... more

Coal dump in the snow

Coal dump in the snow

This snow-covered scene is thought to have been photographed by John Warwick Brooke. It shows a number of carts, drawn either by mules or donkeys, pulling up to a coal dump. Kept in central stores, most supplie... more

French soldier and his wife returned to one  of the captured villges in search of cash they had buried before the invasion

French soldier and his wife returned to one of the captured villges i...

Couple searching for money. This is a close-up shot of a woman who is facing the camera and a man with his back to the camera talking to her. She is tightly bundled up while he is wearing his army coat and helm... more

British, French and American soldiers seated with W.A.A.C.s on the sands watching French kiddies building sand castles

British, French and American soldiers seated with W.A.A.C.s on the san...

Soldiers and WAACs watching French children playing in the sand, in France, during World War I. This photograph brings together men, women and children from several countries, as they relax in their deckchairs ... more

Navvy battalion at work round the Virgin of Montauban

Navvy battalion at work round the Virgin of Montauban

Destruction at the village of Montaubau, France. About thirty men stand on the mound of rubble, grouped around the statue of the Virgin Mary. Poignantly, the statue has been hit in the shoulder by a bullet. It ... more

Earl Haig inspecting the guard of honour

Earl Haig inspecting the guard of honour

General Haig inspecting troops, Messine, Belgium. The image is framed by two rows of soldiers down either side, angling away from the camera. Between them General Haig and his staff are approaching the photogra... more

Freedom of Cupar to F.M. Sir Douglas Haig

Freedom of Cupar to F.M. Sir Douglas Haig

Haig in Cupar, Fife, 1919. The road into Cupar, Fife, lined with people including a military Guard of Honour. The road has been decorated with two triumphal arches, flags and bunting. A single figure, possibly ... more

Inspecting a Battalion of King's Royal Rifles

Inspecting a Battalion of King's Royal Rifles

The Duke of Connaught inspecting troops, France, during World War I. HRH Arthur the Duke of Connaught (1850-1942) is walking along a line of troops during an inspection. Other senior officers walk on his right.... more

German shell bursting close to our trenches

German shell bursting close to our trenches

Shelling near the British trenches, Western Front, during World War I. This photograph must have been taken by one of the official war photographers as it appears to have been shot from inside a frontline trenc... more

Convalescent British soldiers in France having a rest in a recreation room in a hut provided for them by the B.R.C.S.

Convalescent British soldiers in France having a rest in a recreation ...

This photograph shows a lot of convalescent soldiers sitting at long tables which extend the length of the recreation hut. They are reading and writing letters. There have been attempts, presumably by the Red C... more

Tired out Tommies sleeping in a ditch

Tired out Tommies sleeping in a ditch

Tommies sleeping in a ditch. At first sight, this photograph appears to show two dead British soldiers lying in a ditch beside a road, with a French soldier looking down at them. The caption, however, indicates... more

Recovered from the ruins of the Chateau of Caulincourt

Recovered from the ruins of the Chateau of Caulincourt

Recovered classical bust, France. In front of a mound of building rubble, three men attempt to manhandle a classical-style bust out of the chaos...[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WEST... more

Drawing rations at the front

Drawing rations at the front

Rations station at the Front, France. A large group of men are gathered around a crude trestle table. Some of them have boxes in which to carry the rations. There are two men with sheaves of paper and a third w... more

View of the Chateau at Gommecourt

View of the Chateau at Gommecourt

Ruins of Gommecourt Chateau, France, during World War I. This image was taken looking up at the horizon and as a result the shapes are all silhouetted. There are two broken tree stumps and a section of gable wa... more

Mr. Balfour, le Gal Douglas Haig, le Gal. Wilson

Mr. Balfour, le Gal Douglas Haig, le Gal. Wilson

Haig and others at Inter-Allied Conference, Versailles, France, July 1918. This photograph, which has a French press stamp, shows Field Marshal (Earl) Haig (1861-1928) and three other delegates from the Inter-A... more

Men of the Dorsets cleaning their rifles in a ruined farm

Men of the Dorsets cleaning their rifles in a ruined farm

Soldiers sit outside a ruined building cleaning rifles. There is a large pile of rifles propped against the wall. There also appears to be some stretchers propped up against the building. ..'Men of the Dorsets'... more

Drinking the King's health back in their billets

Drinking the King's health back in their billets

Soldiers at Christmas. The men are raising their glasses. ..The caption on the previous photograph in the sequence reveals that the glasses were filled with beer, not wine. There was not much cheer for the sold... more

Scene in one of the many mechanical transport workshops behind the line

Scene in one of the many mechanical transport workshops behind the lin...

Mechanical transport workshop. Four men are holding on to what looks like a large engine. It is suspended from a supporting frame by ropes and chain. Three other men look on. It looks like a typical mechanical ... more

View in Bethune showing the church tower

View in Bethune showing the church tower

Shell-damaged church tower at Bethune, France, during World War I. The shell damage caused to the church tower and surrounding buildings in the Picardie town of Bethune. This 14th century church tower stands in... more

Big shells for one of our guns

Big shells for one of our guns

Five British soldiers, watched by an officer, are preparing to unload large shells from a trailer. Three of the men appear to be pulling out a ramp at the back of the trailer. Horse teams pulling carts can be s... more

Army Commander Sir H.S. Horne inspecting machine gun limbers

Army Commander Sir H.S. Horne inspecting machine gun limbers

Inspection of gun carriages, France, during World War I. This photograph shows Commander Sir Henry Horne (1861-1929) inspecting a parade line of empty gun carriages. Each consists of two pairs of large wheels w... more

First decoration to be presented to a Portuguese soldier in France

First decoration to be presented to a Portuguese soldier in France

General Haig with the President of Portugal. The President is standing directly in front of a soldier, and is pinning a medal to his jacket. According to the photograph's original caption, this man is the first... more

Two of the best houses left in Gommecourt after our artillery had finished with it

Two of the best houses left in Gommecourt after our artillery had fini...

This rather misty and atmospheric picture is thought to be the work of John Warwick Brooke, one of the first two official British war photographers sent to the Western Front. This image is one of many which doc... more

Old Frenchwoman in Amiens evacuating her house leaving her pet canary to the tender mercies of a British Tommy

Old Frenchwoman in Amiens evacuating her house leaving her pet canary ...

Evacuee from Amiens giving her canary to a British soldier, in France, during World War I. A Frenchwoman - wearing a French military helmet - hands over her pet canary to a British soldier for safekeeping, duri... more

Wrecked houses

Wrecked houses

This image captures some of the devastation at Irles. The brick house or houses shown here have been irreparably damaged, most probably by shellfire. Sadly, this was an all too familiar scene at the time. Count... more

Cavalry on the move

Cavalry on the move

The power and noise of all these animals and men on a purposeful move would have been a new sight for most of these conscripted soldiers. The quality of the light, the soldiers in their trenches and the field o... more

French and British make a line to hold up the enemy

French and British make a line to hold up the enemy

This photograph, probably taken by John Warwick Brooke, shows a line of Allied soldiers lying across a grassy field. A French machine-gun crew are kneeling in the line, manning their gun. Some of the soldiers c... more

Canadians digging in and waiting for the next wave to pass them and go forward

Canadians digging in and waiting for the next wave to pass them and go...

Canadian troops and a tank on the Western Front, during World War I. This photograph gives some sense of how treacherous and fraught fighting in World War I could be. The Canadian soldiers in the picture look v... more

Brief spell duing the bombardment for Zonnebeke

Brief spell duing the bombardment for Zonnebeke

Gun crew taking a break during the advance to Zonnebeke, Belgium, 1917. A large gun is sitting at a crazy angle in the midst of heaps of sticky mud and jumbled debris. The gun is pointing off to the right and i... more

Water refilling point

Water refilling point

A four-wheeled open cart pulled by a team of six horses has stopped at a small brick bridge. A soldier is filling metal water cans in the river. There is a pole bridge in the foreground leading across the river... more

Machine gun firing at a Boche plane

Machine gun firing at a Boche plane

Vickers machine-gun crew, Western Front, during World War I. A machine-gun crew using a Vickers machine-gun to fire at an aircraft. The Number 1 of the crew is clearly looking through the sights on the back of ... more

View in Bethune showing the clock tower in the background

View in Bethune showing the clock tower in the background

Shell damage in Bethune, in France, during World War I. With debris strewn across the streets and the buildings all pockmarked by gunfire, the devastation that was caused to the town of Bethune is shown. Three ... more

Trench orderly room

Trench orderly room

Soldiers carrying out their paperwork in the regimental orderly room, which looks as if it may be somewhere close to the front line. ..The Battalion Orderly Room (BHQ) was where soldiers went to receive orders ... more

Field kitchen on the roadside

Field kitchen on the roadside

Cooking on the Front, Western Front, during World War I. A row of field kitchens mounted on wagons are drawn up alongside a road, sheltered by a high bank. In the foreground a soldier is sorting boxes of suppli... more