For the 100th anniversary of the “war to end all wars,” a team at the Open University in the United Kingdom has been searching through photo archives around the world to find unique and significant images of the conflict. The university hired a photo restoration specialist to restore and color a handful of images. Here’s a sneak peek.
Homing pigeons provided critical communications to and from the front, so the British forces developed traveling pigeon lofts built onto the back of busses. For more on the role pigeons played during the conflict, don’t miss Smithsonian Magazine’s “Closing The Pigeon Gap.”Kids pitch in during a fundraising drive for the Red Cross in Adelaide, Australia. The Red Cross was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton in Washington, D.C., but grew by leaps and bounds during the Great War. In 1914 the aid organization had only 17,000 members. By 1918, membership grew to 20 million.
Chemical weapons were a threat to human and animal alike. Above, Indian infantry wear protective masks in trenches in 1915. Below, a member of the Canadian Veterinary Corps and his horse model protective masks.
Personal comforts were few for soldiers in the trenches. Above, a soldier gets a haircut from a barber on the Albanian front. Pvt. Cleveland Frank Snoswell is welcomed home to Adelaide, Australia, at the end of the war. More than 60,000 Australians died in World War I, out of more than 400,000 who served.