French children playing with a British soldier on a beach, France, during World War I. Dressed in the long and stripy swimsuits that were traditional in this era, these French children are enjoying playing in the water with a British soldier. After taking part in fighting at the front line, this peaceful experience of playing around with children on a beach at a French resort, may have been a rather strange feeling for the soldier involved.
Apart from the chilling stories concerning the atrocities that German troops were alleged to have committed at the start of the war, most of the history regarding 'the war to end all wars' tends to focus on the theatres of war, rather than exploring the civilian viewpoint. This chorus of missing civilian voices is especially noticeable in the seemingly unexplored area of how the British troops and French civilians treated one another, and it would be interesting to learn what general attitudes existed within these two groups, especially what French children thought about the war and soldiers.
[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. A British Tommy interests himself in the happiness of the kiddies on the sands at a French coast resort.']