French pigeon trainer, France, during World War I. This photograph shows a French Army officer holding a carrier pigeon ready to fly. Below the rank chevrons on his sleeve he is wearing a badge of a flying pigeon, showing he was a pigeon trainer. He has the weather-beaten skin of a countryman.
On September 11, 1914, the French gave 15 pigeons to the British Intelligence Service. By 1918 there were some 20,000 birds and 380 expert pigeon trainers in the British Army alone.
[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. British army carrier pigeons in France. A Franco-British carrier pigeon which makes long distance flights.']