History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

30 January, 2013

World War One in the Snow

As if the trenches of World War One weren't bad enough the rest of the year, there was winter to contend with. Soldiers were constantly out in the snow, ice, and generally damp conditions, with little to no extra clothing. Very few British soldiers were even allocated gloves. Though official World War One photographs such as these were generally intended to present the front in the best possible light, there really isn't any way to gloss over this kind of cold misery.

From the National Library of Scotland.


National Library of Scotland

Soldiers in a trench "where bombs take the place of snowballs", as the original caption puts it. Source



National Library of Scotland

Soldiers crossing an icy ditch on the way to the trenches. Source



National Library of Scotland

A working party spattered with snow. Source




National Library of Scotland

Loading a trench mortar in a front-line trench. Source



National Library of Scotland

Two soldiers carrying a log for their camp fire. Source



National Library of Scotland

An anti-aircraft gun and crew amidst ruins. Source



National Library of Scotland

Infantry marching in the snow. Source



National Library of Scotland

South African officers having lunch. Source



National Library of Scotland

Two South African soldiers (one in a kilt) sharing a match. Source



National Library of Scotland

A trench mortar crew. Source



National Library of Scotland

Exhausted soldiers resting on their way to the trenches. Source



National Library of Scotland

A soldier collecting snow to melt for water, after the local water supply was poisoned by retreating German forces. Source



National Library of Scotland

Officers on the roof of their dugout. Source



National Library of Scotland

Transport carts hauling guns to the front line. Source



National Library of Scotland

Gunner carrying charges to the front. Source



National Library of Scotland

Soldiers filling a water cart. Source



National Library of Scotland

"The man on the right remembers this place of barbed wire entanglement when he had to get through it in the early days of the Somme Battle at Ovilliers" (original caption). Source



National Library of Scotland

Soldiers and ambulances on their way to the trenches. Source


2 comments:

Connie B. Dowell said...

Snow in the trenches, poisoned water. Life was tough out there! These are some fascinating photos though.

micu said...

I will never understand wars..:(

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