Selected by Stephen Miller, Web Editor

What

The first image is of the retreat of the allied forces from Suvla bay, Turkey, during the Gallipoli campaign in the winter of 1915-1916 (ref. Hamilton 7/12/243a).  It is from the official photographs of the Dardanelles Expedition, 1915-1916 found in the archival collection of Gen Sir Ian Hamilton (1853-1947). Hamilton served as General Officer Commanding Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 1915.  The photographs were supplied by Central News Agency.  The second image is from the arrival earlier in the year, taken from L’Album de la Guerre (Paris, 1926), I: 385.

Why 

The first main image looks far from happy.  It is winter (another photo caption mentions soldiers suffering frostbite).  The transport looks anything but inviting, though at least these men have survived the Gallipoli campaign so far.  The clarity of the photograph, as for so many in this collection, reveals that the surface of this barge, with a gun aboard, rides only a short distance above the surface of water.  Conditions look wet and far from safe.  Perhaps because the purpose is departure, the barge seems overloaded.  Are the men onboard to stabilise the gun?  The personal exposure of warfare is starkly evident.  Some of the mystery of the image is explained by the photo discovered in the L’Album de la Guerre showing the arrival of a gun earlier in the year.  It is also being towed on a barge with men onboard, but not nearly so heavily loaded.  A rough translation of the French text: ‘During the landing: a 155[mm] canon towed on a barge.’

Ref: Hamilton 7/12

www.kingscollections.org/catalogues/lhcma/collection/h/ha30-001

Other sources:

Over 100 more official photos from the Dardanelles are available to view online at the Google Cultural Institute www.google.com/culturalinstitute/collection/king-s-college-london-archives

More images from L’Album de la Guerre (Paris, 1926) volume I are available via the Serving Solder site at www.kingscollections.org/servingsoldier/collection/lalbum-de-la-guerre-vol-1-part-1

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