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British despatch rider, Flanders

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British despatch rider, Flanders

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A British army dispatch rider sitting on his motorcycle, apparently looking at a map. The painting and logo on the frame below the cross bar suggest that this motorcycle is a Triumph. Triumph produced some 30,000 model H roadsters for the War Office. The machines were nicknamed the "Trusty Triumphs"...Motorcycles had been becoming popular before the war. At that time Britain led the way, with some 200 manufacturers, many working on a small scale. Douglas, for example, which was producing ten bikes a week before the war, had a War Office order for 300 bikes each week...[Original reads: 'A British despatch rider.']..digital.nls.uk/74549318 ( http://digital.nls.uk/74549318 )

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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1914
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National Library of Scotland
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