Base pig farm in France. This image is dominated by the pigs snuffling about in the foreground. They have been caged in with a high wire fencing which has internal subdivisions of flimsy wooden barriers. There are both officers and soldiers standing inside the pens – they seem to be talking to one another. The uniforms in amongst the pigsty do seem a little incongruous.
The British army used a system of medical classification that graded men A-D: A fit for general service; B fit for garrison or base service; C fit for home service; D unfit for military service. The other ranks in the sty are probably B-grade men; base camps employed large numbers of such troops as sanitation and refuse orderlies. Sourcing food locally reduced the amount that had to be shipped from England, an increasing problem as the German U-boat campaign began to take effect in 1917.
Original reads: ‘OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. A British Army Piggery in France. Camp waste utilized to produce food.’
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