VIEW-17450.0 | Two soldiers, copied for Mrs. Foster, 1918

Two soldiers, copied for Mrs. Foster, 1918
Anonyme - Anonymous
1918, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
17 x 12 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  informal (1120) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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Keys to History

The First World War was the first war ever photographed. Photographers' units attached to the armies were deployed on the different fronts to take pictures of battles. Propaganda was organized as dead and wounded are shown in the papers to appalled readers. Most photos, however, were taken by soldiers who had packed cameras along with their heavy gear. Amateur photographers took snaps of their comrades, life in the trenches, the disasters of war. Some of these portraits preserve forever the image of the dead.

  • What

    Photos of actual battles are quite rare. Most pictures that have survived represent the disastrous results of war--ruins, dead and wounded soldiers and civilians--or simply the everyday life of enlisted men.

  • Where

    It is not known where these two soldiers were when the photo was taken but the sign, and the changes that have been made to the warning, seem to indicate a training site.

  • When

    A considerable number of pictures were taken in the First World War. Photographs were published in the illustrated press with the proclaimed purpose of discouraging the enemy or boosting the nation's morale.

  • Who

    Many wartime photos were meant for family and friends. A photo provided reassurance that a soldier was still alive.