Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Somewhere in France

A forgotten and never publicly seen photo trove of British Tommies taken "somewhere in France" during the winter of 1915 and spring/summer 1916, heading towards the "Big Push", the first British/French offensive at Somme, has resurfaced in France. There is little to no information about the soldiers, save what can be gleaned from the photos. Most probably died within weeks of when the photos were taken.

The first day of the battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916, saw 60,000 British casualties. By late fall 1916 over 1,000,000 combatants had been killed, with no discernible objective gained. Arguably, the battle changed the course of British social history for the remainder of the 20th century.

The photos, published by The Independent may be seen here. It does take a while to get through all.



Barbara said...

Amazing photos.
We just saw a movie on Netflix called Joyeux Noel. A semi-true story about a Christmas Eve during WWI. I had never heard about this happening, but looked it up. You might enjoy it.

Toad said...

There is an incredible book, "Live and Let Live in WW1" which deals heavily with the after effects of Joyeux Noel, you may enjoy as well.

Anonymous said...


Fascinating though, the glass plates. Some found here, some found there, then a bundle of them turn up all at once. I clicked all the links taking me to the page where these fine folks have put out a broad appeal to identify these men. They just want their names, so they can put them with their faces, so they'll get the respect they're due. Respect.

I will fwd. the appeal to my former History of Photography professor, he used to give us hairbrained assignments, turn those kids loose on the internet armed with WW1 glass plates, heck if Meg's dog Connor can go from lost to found via a random Facebook post, then....well, yeah!


James said...

Very intriguing, thanks once again.