Dug-outs for aeroplanes
R.A.F. aircraft dugouts, France, during World War I. This rather odd contraption on the left of the photograph is, according to the attached caption, the entrance-way to an aircraft dugout. Aircraft bases, although not always immediately behind the front line would have made excellent static targets. Here, however, the soldiers look relatively relaxed and calm.
The R.A.F. was formed on 1st April 1918 as an amalgamation of the Royal Navy Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps. It is, however, now difficult to know when the captions were added to these photographs.
[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. Dug-outs for aeroplanes. Many of the R.A.F. Squadrons are very near the line in France & to protect machines from bombs or shells, piles of sandbags are used.']