WW1 Photos Centenary Website: 2014-2018 By Paul Reed

Trench Life in Northern France

This image is the first of a number that will appear on the site this week which are taken from a small collection of photographs taken by a soldier in the 1/13th Battalion London Regiment (Kensingtons). The Kensingtons were a pre-war Territorial Force battalion – Saturday Night Soldiers as they were popularly known – who had crossed to France in November 1914 where they served in the Neuve-Chapelle sector with the 8th Division.

This sector of the Western Front was very flat and dominated on the German side by the Aubers Ridge. The trenches here were a mixture of trenches and breastworks built above ground level, as seen here. Taken in early 1915 the photo shows that the trenches here were still very primitive at this stage and offered little protection from the elements let alone shell fire; both sides were still learning about the realities of static warfare at this stage in the conflict. Given that the men are pretty exposed in this photograph – as well as the photographer himself – it is likely to be a reserve position, away from the front and out of view of the enemy.

3 responses

  1. Lovely picture, again, Paul. I like the fact they are wearing winter service dress caps – gor’blimey!

    Peter Doyle

    17/01/2012 at 08:27

  2. Fascinating site! Well done. Will follow with interest.

    20/01/2012 at 01:01

  3. Geoffrey Dickson

    Fantastic photos, am at present making my self a record of my grandfathers Diary, He was Drummer Dickson of the 13th London Rgt, the Kensingtons. I would be very interested in seeing any other pictures you have of them and I would only be too pleased to send you a transcript of the Diary. He survived the war, being wounded and sent back 3 times, amazing stuff, please use my E.mail to get in touch. Geoffrey Dickson. Wells, Somerset.

    27/03/2013 at 17:12

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