Staff officer discussing matters on a pile of bombs

Two uniformed men, sitting on crates of explosives, having a conversation. The man on the right is wearing shorts as part of his uniform and both are wearing steel helmets. The man on the left is holding papers in his left hand. Printed labels stuck to the wooden crates state 'GOVERNMENT EXPLOSIVE.' The men appear to be in a shallow dip in the ground, and are surrounded by dry and dusty earth.

 

This caption is rather misleading since Messines Ridge is in fact in Belgium and not in France as the caption suggests. It is unclear at what point or by whom the captions were added to the photographs, but it is possible they were added at a later stage by someone not familiar with the geography of the Western Front.

 

[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. Battle of Messines Ridge. A staff officer discussing matters on a pile of bombs.']

 

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Taken circa 1918