Wwi Photo Essay Pictures

For the 100th anniversary of the “war to end all wars,” a team at the Open University in the United Kingdom has been searching through photo archives around the world to find unique and significant images of the conflict. The university hired a photo restoration specialist to restore and color a handful of images. Here’s a sneak peek.

Photo from the London Transport Museum. Restoration by the Open University

Homing pigeons provided critical communications to and from the front, so the British forces developed traveling pigeon lofts built onto the back of busses. For more on the role pigeons played during the conflict, don’t miss Smithsonian Magazine’s “Closing The Pigeon Gap.”

Photo from the State Library of South Australia. Restoration by the Open University

Kids pitch in during a fundraising drive for the Red Cross in Adelaide, Australia. The Red Cross was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton in Washington, D.C., but grew by leaps and bounds during the Great War. In 1914 the aid organization had only 17,000 members. By 1918, membership grew to 20 million.

Photo from The British Library. Restoration by the Open University

Photo from the Canadian Library and Archive. Restoration by the Open University

Chemical weapons were a threat to human and animal alike. Above, Indian infantry wear protective masks in trenches in 1915. Below, a member of the Canadian Veterinary Corps and his horse model protective masks.

Photo from The British Library. Restoration by the Open University

Personal comforts were few for soldiers in the trenches. Above, a soldier gets a haircut from a barber on the Albanian front.

Photo from the State Library of South Australia. Restoration by the Open University

Pvt. Cleveland Frank Snoswell is welcomed home to Adelaide, Australia, at the end of the war. More than 60,000 Australians died in World War I, out of more than 400,000 who served.

View all of the restored images at the Open University.


As we remember 100 years since the First World War, here are 20 iconic photos taken in the trenches and front lines. Photographers risked their lives alongside soldiers to bring the story of the war home.

Dubbed ‘The War To End War’, the WWI was a futile and wholly avoidable conflict.

Political meddling and nefarious ambition led to a war that claimed 17 million lives and left 21 million injured.

These 20 photos are our selection of the best from the trenches and front lines of the war. Watch the video for HD resolution or see the photos below.



1. British/ANZAC trench, Northern France
Photo: Netherlands Nationaal Archief


2. Over the top
Photo: John Warwick Brooke/National Library of Scotland


3. The town of Gommecourt on the front line
Photo: National Library of Scotland


4. A German soldier throws a hand grenade
Photo: AP Photo


5. Brits at the Third Battle of Ypres
Photo: James Francis Hurley


6. An aerial view of the Western Front
Photo: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive


7. Pill box demolishers
Photo: Australian official photographs/State Library of New South Wales


8. A German prisoner with British soldier
Photo: National Library of Scotland


9. British artillery bombards German positions on the Western Front
Photo: Library of Congress


10. Soldiers in the trenches write letters home
Photo: Unknown


11. Aerial view of the Somme Front
Photo: NARA/U.S. War Dept.


12. Gas attack on the Flanders front
Photo: National Archive/Official German Photograph of WWI


13. Australian soldier rescues a comrade
Photo: NARA/US War Dept


14. Slavic soldiers as the German cavalry broke through
Photo: National World War I Museum, Kansas City, Missouri


15. The 9th British Lancers charging German artillery
Photo: REX USA/Underwood Archives / UIG / Rex


16. A wounded soldier receives treatment
Photo: U.S. Army/U.S. National Archives


17. Chateau Woods, 3rd Battle of Ypres, 1917
Photo: Frank Hurley


18. French soldiers in a bayonet charge
Photo: Agence de presse Meurisse


19. War Rations
Photo: National Library of Scotland


20. Soldier at Grave
Photo: PA Photos/PA Archive/Press Association Images


Let us never forget!


H/T: TheAtlantic.com


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