IN COMMEMORATION OF ARMISTICE DAY
The FIRST World War in colour: Photos taken using pioneering technology show conflict in a new light for the first time
Black-and-white photographs from the First World War are not hard to come by, but far less familiar are the colour images from the time.
‘The First World War in Colour’ contains more than 320 colour photos brought together from archives in Europe, the United States and Australia.
They were taken by a small band of photographers at the time who were pioneering autochrome technology when the war began.
The process of taking colour photos back in 1914 required quite a long exposure time, so almost every picture shows carefully composed scenes of soldiers preparing for battle, day-to-day life in the trenches and the devastating consequences on the front line.
Their remarkable fully-hued pictures have now been published in time for the centenary, bringing a human reality to the ‘war to end war’.
The volume by author Peter Walther includes some of the most important developments of the war including the mobilisation of 1914 to the victory celebrations in Paris, London and New York in 1919.
It was possible to take colour photos as early as the 19th century and the autochrome technique was introduced in 1907 before even new technology in the 1930s made colour photography more mainstream.
More than nine million soldiers and seven million civilians were killed in the First World War, which started on July 28, 1914 and ended on November 11, 1918.
Hundreds of events are taking place throughout this year to mark 100 years since the war began.
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Autochrome technology was in its early days throughout the First World War but a small group of photographers were pioneering its usage and there pictures are now being republished in a new book. Troops are pictured here in blue jackets and helmets watching the sky intently for missiles
French airship Alsace is pictured when it was shot down on October 3, 1915 near Rethel (left) and also a German canteen (right) in one of the trenches
The First World War was the first time air warfare had played a role in combat and this picture of French warplane, Caudron G3, was captured by a photographer in 1914
Pictures like this one of a British tank in Péronne near Amiens feature in the book which has been published to mark the centenary of the outbreak of war in 1914
The volume includes some of the most important developments of the war including the mobilisation of 1914 to the victory celebrations in Paris, London and New York in 1919. This picture shows a British ambulance in 1914 with its famous red crosses
This fully-hued picture shows the victory celebrations at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on July 14, 1919 after the war ended on November 11, 1918
Front cover of The First World War in Colour, which includes 320 remarkable rare photos in original full-hue brought together from archives in Europe, the United States and Australia. This touching image shows troops enjoying some downtime intently playing cards in their camp
Walther has edited a series of other publications on literary, photographic and contemporary themes and has also illustrated books with historical colour photographs and has collated for exhibitions. Pictured here are piles shells and ammunition stacked ready to use
The book includes work by Paul Castelnau, Fernand Cuville, Jules Gervais-Courtellemont, Léon Gimpel, Hans Hildenbrand and Charles C. Zoller - pictured is the view across the Meuse of the devastated Verdun which is reflected in the water
Portraits show carefully composed scenes of soldiers preparing for battle, day-to-day life in the trenches and the devastating consequences on the front line, such as these soldiers in a concrete trench
Eight members of the same British family fought in the First World War and miraculously lived to tell the tale.
The Lord brothers from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, all escaped from battle with minor wounds and gas poisoning.
So eager were they to serve their country, the youngest brother, who was just 14, borrowed his sibling's birth certificate to enlist.
William (left), Arthur (top left), Gilbert (top centre), Ted (top right), Frank (right), Jim (bottom left), Sidney (centre) and Len (bottom right) fought in the First World War and miraculously all survived
Their service was acknowledged by King George V himself, who wrote to the men following the death of their army sergeant father.
The monarch wrote to brothers Sidney, Gilbert, Ted, Will, Arthur, Frank, Len and Jim, to say he was 'much gratified to hear of the manner in which they so readily responded to the Sovereign and their country.'
Jansen Lord, the son of the third eldest brother Frank, said it was down only to sheer luck that all eight survived. 'It really is remarkable when you look back through the history of the war that they did all survive. I think it is absolute pure luck none of them were killed.
'One of them was wounded in the leg and one of the others was slightly gassed - which actually caused his death a long time afterwards - but other than this they were all healthy.
'They never really spoke of the war but one thing my father did tell me is that he had a very close call one day.
The youngest brother, Ted Lord, was just 14 when he borrowed his brother's birth certificate to enlist
The boys' father, Sgt Arthur Lord, was the last person in High Wycombe to be given a full military funeral (pictured)
'He was in the trenches and was very close to another Wycombe man who was shot and blinded.'
The eldest brother, Sidney Lord, had one of the most dangerous roles as a special reconnaissance officer in the Royal Naval Air Service.
Once in an air balloon high above ground, he would have to try to identify the enemy base and determine whether or not they were attacking.
Jansen Lord, 92, said: 'My uncle told me that as soon as he was in the air the enemy would start shooting at him and he would have to shout "for God’s sake pull me down!"
'I do not think people realised at the time what they were going off to fight for.
'But it is great to see the start of the war being commemorated like it is.'
The soldiers' father, Sgt Arthur Lord, died during the war.
He had signed up years before the conflict and was the last person to receive a full military funeral and parade in their home town.