Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Monday, March 28, 2016

Daily Mail Official War Photos

As the Battles of the Somme raged on the Western Front, the Daily Mail newspaper secured the rights to print and publish a long series of picture postcards, many of them colored. Most appear to be from photos, others seem to be from illustrations. The images were of scenes and incidents, which occurred during the Somme offensive. I found most of these at the website of the New York Public Library, which has vast WWI holdings.


  1. Fascinating to see how 'sanitised' they look - even the battlefield scenes look clean! I've been heavily involved in WW1 research of my own for the last four years, culminating in a book project which I hope will fill the huge gap where literature of the post-war battlefield clearances and burials should be. I'd be delighted if you'd take a look:

    1. Greetings Tim,

      Contact me at and I'll give you information on where to mail a review copy of your book.


  2. Sanitized indeed. Largely cheerful, especially with the pastel colors.

    Would make a nice pairing with Joe Sacco's epic work.

  3. Very sanitized...almost has a look of contemporary "field games/maneuvers" as well as turn of the century Scout camps!

    @Tim A - you and I have a similar interest - the aftermath. In my case I've been fascinated in the clean-up operations in regard to making the former Western Front 'livable' again.