A wounded man being transported by light railway. He is lying on a stretcher placed across an open-sided trolley or cart that runs along the tracks. He has been covered with a blanket and is being pushed along by three men. An army chaplain is walking alongside and probably trying to comfort him. Padre comes from the Latin ‘pater’ for ‘father’, a Roman Catholic term for priest that became common usage in the British Army during WW1 for any ordained cleric. Army padres or chaplains were present at the Front throughout the war where, apart from their religious and spiritual role they also performed a number of non-religious functions including counsellor and confidante.
Original reads: ‘OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. A padre having a few cheery words with a wounded man whilst he is brought in on a light railway.’
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