‘He is taking a saw and a hammer below with him’ [Royal Engineer Diver] | National Library of Scotland

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Royal Engineer diver, France, during World War I. A diver is standing on a ladder beside a jetty. He is wearing a heavy round diving helmet attached to a large rubber air pipe. In his left hand, he appears to be holding a crowbar. With his right hand, he is taking a saw from a soldier with the letters RE [Royal Engineers] on his shoulder. The Royal Engineers were responsible for the construction, repair and maintenance of the infrastructure such as roads, railways and bridges, which were essential in moving troops and equipment.

Uniform details suggest photograph taken later than March 1916.

Original reads: ‘OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. R.E. diver about to descend to the bottom of a Canal in France to repair the foundation of a bridge. He is taking a saw and a hammer below with him.’

Original URL: http://digital.nls.uk/first-world-war-official-photographs/pageturner.cfm?id=74548802

Resource Type : image

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Cite : 'He is taking a saw and a hammer below with him' [Royal Engineer Diver] | National Library of Scotland (http://digital.nls.uk/first-world-war-official-photographs/pageturner.cfm?id=74548802) by D. McLellan licensed as CC-BY-NC-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/scotland/)

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About Richard Marshall

Richard Marshall is studying for a doctorate in the literature of ancient Rome at Wadham College, Oxford, and is a tutor for Ancient History at St Benet’s Hall. In addition to Classics, he has a long-standing interest in the tactics and material culture of the British Army, especially of the period spanned by the Cardwell Reforms and First World War. He has a large collection of original uniform and equipment items used for teaching and research purposes, and is currently exploring the evolution of British military clothing and accoutrements in response to changes in fashion and warfare for eventual publication. He previously worked as a cataloguer for the Oxford University Great War Archive.
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