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By Emma Thom on

Photographing conflict: Australian photographs of the First World War

For Remembrance Day, we’ve chosen a series of images of Australian servicemen photographed during the First World War.

This selection is taken from two albums entitled Official Australian War Photographs, produced by the Australian War Records Section which was established by the British government in 1917.

In stark contrast to the concerns of the British government during the Crimean War, the government at the time of the First World War recognised the importance of photographs, both as propaganda and as historical records, and tried to avoid the crude jingoism of the earlier Boer War propaganda.

While the creator of these images is unknown, they are thought to be the work of official photographers James Francis (Frank) Hurley and George Hubert Wilkins.

The prisoners receive precisely the same rations as our own troops

Many of the tanks put out of action were used as shelters for the wounded

Canadians advancing on our right were assisted by Tanks

"Gas." Australian troops with respirators on posed for the camera in the advance trench, Garter Point, 4th Division

Reserves passing through the tracks near Guillemont Farm

The gaps in the wire near Anvil Wood through which the 53rd Battn. rushed the machine gun posts on Aug 31st 1918 were death traps

Moving up a division of Australian troops. Reninghelst. 2nd Division

Terrible effects of our Artillery.Boche dead may be seen lying in the foreground. Sept 20 1918. 4th Division

Boche prisoners assist in bringing in Australian wounded

Hell Fire Corner on the Menin Road; a sticky place that's always taken at the trot

Digging in behind the outposts of the Hindenburg Line. 'D' Co, 45th Battn, near Ascension Farm

Supports going up after battle to relieve the front trenches, note the three observation balloons above the bright cloud

The morning of Aug.8th 1918. German prisoners just taken, returning in charge of a single Australian past their own burning dug-outs

"Wild Eye", the Souvenir King

Attending to wounded in German dugouts

Almost every bay of the communication sap from Pear trench to Hamel Village contained dead bodies of the enemy

Armoured car held up for a time on the main Harbonnieres Road by fallen trees

A shell burst in Glencourse Wood. Sept 20 1917

A trench in the low flat country near La Bassee Ville

A dug-out in the trench. They are usually about 25 feet deep and have two rooms beneath

After the battle. A scene on the Menin Road. Wounded waiting to be taken to the dressing stations.

A German Tank captured by Australians

If you would like to see more, the Science and Society Picture Library has highlighted a selection of photographs and objects depicting the First World War, from life on the frontline, to life back home and through the eyes of the opposition.

Prints of all of the images in this post are available from the Science and Society Picture Library, the official print sales website of the Science Museum Group.

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