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Photograph album of First World War battlefields in northern France.

ca. 1920.
Physical Description:
1 album (260 photographs) : gelatin silver prints ; album 26 x 32 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2018 18
Yale Center for British Art, acquired with funds from the Bequest of Daniel S. Kalk
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Bound in contemporary tan cloth. Photographs are pasted to leaves of heavy dark green card.
The album is presumably the work of a British visitor, possibly an officer of the Royal Engineers, taking in the battlefields and sights. Photographs depict barren fields, trenches, ruins and destruction, with abandoned tanks and graves. Contemporary captions are provided in black ink. Some are dated, but these appear to be the dates of major action, not the dates of photography, as no active combat is depicted.
In the primary portion of the album photographs are of uniform size, 8.5 x 11 cm. Places depicted include: Nieppe, including a ruined Nieppe chateau; Ploegsteert in neighboring Belgium; Armentières, with views of the Lys River and a ruined cathedral; Loos, with views of cratered battlefields; Hohenzollern; Ovillers, Bapaume; Arras; Cambrai; Feuchy, with a ruined tank; Monchy, with views of trenches; the largely destroyed town of Villers Guislains, with an image of an artillery cannon next to a cemetery; various farms named by family; the destroyed cathedral at Albert; Aveluy; Mesnil; Épehy; Venduile, with ruined bridge; and complete destruction of buildings in Lens.
Photographs in the the latter portion of the album are not captioned. They include depictions of uniformed British and French officers (along with women and children, presumably family) around an unidentified memorial, apparently in northern France. The photographs may depict a ceremony for the unveiling of the monument. A series of larger format photographs at the end of the album depict group portraits of platoons or companies of soldiers, at unidentified barracks (perhaps at Brompton). The final photograph depicts a group posed in front of the memorial to General Charles Gordon (showing him on camel back) at Brompton Barracks, in Kent. The Brompton Barracks has been home to the Royal Engineers since 1812. It appears likely that the compilers of the album, and many of the individuals depicted, were associated with the Royal Engineers.
Subject Terms:
Gordon, Charles George, 1833-1885 -- Statues.
Great Britain. Army. Royal Engineers.
Soldiers' monuments -- France.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Battlefields -- Belgium.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Battlefields -- France.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Destruction and pillage -- France.
World War, 1914-1918 -- France.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Great Britain.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Monuments -- France.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Trench warfare -- France.
Gelatin silver prints.
Photograph albums.

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