Summary

Black and white photographic print which depicts a transport line in the village of Herissart. Located north east of Amiens, many Allied soldiers were billeted with local families at Herissart and many other Allied forces passed through the village on their way to nearby battle sites. No actual fighting occurred at Herissart which made it an ideal location to temporarily house supplies (as shown here) for soldiers passing through the village and for those already on the frontline. As the battlefields moved location, so too would the transport lines to ensure that the soldiers would receive essential supplies when needed.

It is one of 95 black and white, and, sepia toned photographs taken in France during World War I, attached to a photograph album. The album includes a few photographs of enemy prisoners, the war cemetery at Warloy, a wrecked German ambulance and images of the local French people.

Most photographs are of Albert and surrounds so it would seem probable that most were taken during and after the Battle of the Somme (1916). In addition there are also photographs dated 1917. The photographs were taken by Private John Edward Lord, 13th Field Ambulance, and brought back to Australia by him and compiled in an album at the end of the First World War.

The album is one of many souvenirs brought back to Australia after World War I by Lord, and is part of a larger collection of photograph albums, images, documents and World War I memorabilia donated by Lord to Museum Victoria.

Description of Content

The photograph depicts a rest stop for a convoy of soldiers and horse drawn carts. A group of carts stand stationary to the right of the photograph with boxes of cargo positioned next to them. Soldiers are visible unpacking and moving the crates. In the left of the photograph, a large portion of field has been fenced off. It appears that some type of vegetable matter is being grown within this section. Clothing or material have been hung along the fence line. In the far background, a large group of soldiers can be seen marching along the road, towards the stationary carts.

Physical Description

Monochrome photograph, mounted in a small, grey photograph album.

Significance

This album appears to have been prepared to 'showcase' the war experiences of John Lord and the photographs associated with these. The album has been very carefully prepared and the quality of the photographs is generally good, in comparison to the album ST40491, also compiled by John Lord, which has a number of photographs which are of poor quality, many photographs removed and written in (mostly) illegible pencil. This suggests this album was most probably compiled after the war, with photographs probably gathered from other photograph albums of Lord’s.

The subjects of the photographs are of trenches (both German and Allies), horses, camps, farms, graves and cemeteries, civilians, soldiers, churches and other buildings. Many of the photographs were taken around the town of Albert and are dated 1916 and 1917. From this information we can tell that Lord was involved with the Battle of the Somme when these photographs were taken.

The Battle of the Somme was fought from north of the Somme river between the towns of Albert and Arras. The Battle began on the 1 July and was called off on the 18 November 1916. The Battle of the Somme is famous for the loss of 58,000 British troops (one third of them killed) on the first day of the battle, 1 July 1916, which to this day remains a one-day record.

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