Selected by Patricia Methven, Director of Archives & Information Management
Titled ‘Pinadier’ or the wine ration, the French soldier is shown festooned with some of the supplies that cooks and ration parties sought twice a day to deliver to the troops through treacherous open ground before the communication trenches were begun. Edward Spears, a liaison officer in 1915, recalls the affection and respect accorded to the cooks by the French troops. Even otherwise harshly treated German Prisoners of War held by the French were appreciative of the food they received. Photograph from the Spears collection originally sourced from L’Illustration for ‘Prelude to Victory’ 1939 by Spears.
The photograph is an affectionate picture of a brave and humble soldier seeking to support his colleagues with a necessity of French life. It also reflects one of the many ways forces of differing nationalities sought to maintain a sense of normality in war.
Ref: Spears 10/1