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

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Snapshots of the War in 1915

Last Sunday, we published an article about the battles on the Western Front in 1915.  It reminded me of something I've benefited from by looking at thousands of photos from the war over  the last quarter-century. Usually, without first reading the caption of a photograph, I can guess with a pretty high degree of accuracy the year the photo was taken. That's because everything looked different over the time, the battlefields, the trenches, the uniforms and kits of the soldiers.  Here's a selection from 1915. The war's been on a year, but the battlefields haven't yet taken on the lunar landscape look, most of the troops haven't been issued helmets yet, and, while some of the images show the brutal side of war, things just don't look quite as grim as photos from the following year when Verdun and the Somme took center stage.

Click on the Image to Enlarge

French Artillerymen in the Vosges Mountain Sector

King George V at a Military Review at Stonehenge

German Trench at Notre Dame de Lorette

Austrian Soldiers Torch a Polish Village

Battleship HMS Majestic Sinking at Cape Helles, 27 May 1915

V Beach, Gallipoli, After the Troops Move Inland,
River Clyde in Foreground

Lord Kitchener in the Foreground Visiting the Western Front

Italian Troops Moving a Gun to Higher Ground

British Burials, Hullach, Loos Battlefield

A French Band Wearing Gas Masks While Performing

General Joffre, Accompanied by General Cadorna,
Tours the Alpine Battlefields

A Single German Cavalryman Guards a Column of Russian Prisoners

Sources:  Tony Langley Collection, The Illustrated Album deluxe 


  1. That French artillery piece in the first photo looks pretty old!

  2. A fine range of photos. Thank you for including the eastern front.