A dirt road running along the left of the picture with a narrow grassy bank. Slightly below its level lies the canal. There is a soldier walking along the road and some standing on a deck but the rest of the men are wearing canvas dungarees and are involved with the move. There are two large tugboats moored with wide gangplanks connecting them to the shore. Various stages of the unloading process can be seen. Wartime conditions of continual rebuilding and constant movement of people meant that many structures were prefabricated to save on costs and materials.
Hut fittings made by French women in a workshop supervised by the Royal Engineers are unloaded from barges of the Inland Water Transport Service, Royal Engineers. Formed in 1914, the I.W.T. took control of canals and waterways in the rear areas for the movement of supplies and evacuation of wounded. In 1918 it possessed over 1,000 craft and handled an average of 60,000 tons per week.
Original reads: ‘OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. Partitions for huts made by the lady carpenters are being shifted on to the barge for transport up the country.’
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