Stop-go’ man at a crossroads, France, during World War I. This is a fantastically humorous photograph today – but it is difficult to tell whether it was tongue in cheek or really quite serious at the time. There is one car, on an otherwise deserted road with long visibility, traveling towards a crossroads. At the crossroads a proud ‘stop-go’ man is standing smartly to attention with his swivel board of instructions. This type of photograph would have made excellent propaganda material. It has a light-hearted atmosphere and hints at British inventiveness, which would have reassured the public at home.
The policeman belongs to the Military Mounted Police. Board in background gives directions to No. 7 General Hospital, stationed at St Omer for much of the war.
Original reads: ‘OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. A novel British Military control being used in France.’
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