Gunners rolling 6″ Howitzer shells to gun positions. Most of the men are in their shirtsleeves and wearing steel helmets. The shells have been placed on an open-ended trolley, which is being pushed along a light railway track. In the background there is an expanse of flat and open countryside. The men are aware of the photographer, most likely John Warwick Brooke, and are smiling for the camera.
Throughout World War I railways were a vital means of transporting troops, supplies and equipment for both sides. Whilst existing railway systems were used, vast tracts of light railway were hastily constructed to ensure the existence of a vital communications link with the front line.
The Battle of Broodseinde commenced on 4th October 1917.
Original reads: ‘OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT. BATTLE OF BROODSEYNDE [Broodseinde]. Gunners [rolling?] up shells for a move forward.’
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