The featured photographs, colorized by Benjamin Thomas, Doug Banks, Dave Chandler, Frederic Duriez, Paul Reynolds and Royston Leonard, capture in vivid detail the horror, devastation and sadness on the battlefields of World War I.
Editor’s note: Photos and photo captions are courtesy of artists’ Facebook pages, but may be edited for brevity. Photos featured are from National Archives, National and State Libraries, Australian War Museum, Imperial War Museum, newspapers or donated by third parties. Permission was granted to feature the colorized photographs on Argunners Magazine.
Horrors of World War I
Australian soldiers blinded in a German gas attack at an aid station near Bois de l’abbe, they had been gassed in the operations in front of Villers-Bretonneux, France, May 27, 1918. [Colorized by Royston Leonard]
Exhausted Australian soldiers pose for a candid photograph in the captured Turkish trenches at Lone Pine, Gallipoli Peninsula, on the afternoon of the 6 August 1915. [Colorized by Benjamin Thomas]
An exhausted British soldier asleep in a front line trench at Thiepval, Somme. September 1916. [Colorized by Dave Chandler]
British soldiers with wounded German prisoners, La Boisselle, 22 miles (35 km) north-east of Amiens. 3rd of July 1916. [Colorized by Royston Leonard]
Unidentified men of the Australian 5th Division enjoying a smoke and rest by the side of the Montauban road, near Mametz, France, while en-route to the trenches. Most of the men are wearing sheepskin vests and woollen gloves, and are carrying full kit and .303 Lee Enfield rifles, December 1916. [Colorized by Benjamin Thomas]
Two Australian Soldiers relaxing under an ‘Elephant Iron’ shelter at Westhoek Ridge, Flanders, Belgium.
c. Late September 1917. [Colorized by Royston Leonard]
Four Australian soldiers at Chateau Wood near Retaliation Farm, walking over duckboards in the waterlogged fields to Zonnebeke, Flanders, Belgium. 22nd of October 1917. [Colorized by Benjamin Thomas]
“A Still from the film ‘The Battle of the Somme’ showing a British soldier carrying a wounded comrade back from the front line. The scene is generally accepted as having been filmed on the first day of the battle, 1 July 1916.” (This man died 30 minutes after reaching the trenches) [Colorized by Doug Banks]
A German dog hospital, treating wounded dispatch dogs coming from the front, 1918. [Colorized by Royston Leonard]
The Australian 12th M.G. Company, 45th Battalion, 12th Brigade, 4th Division, near Anzac Ridge at Polygon Wood in the Ypres Sector, where very heavy casualties were sustained. Photo taken on the 28th of September, 1917. [Colorized by Royston Leonard]
American medics of the 103rd and 104th Ambulance Companies give medical attention to wounded German prisoners. [Colorized by Benjamin Thomas]
An Australian fatigue party from the 7th Brigade (far left) carrying piles of empty sandbags to the front line through the devastated area near Pozieres, 28th of August 1916. [Colorized by Benjamin Thomas]
A wounded German soldier probably from the 64th infantry Regiment (8th Brandenburg) part of the 6th Division. May 1915. [Colorized by Frédéric Duriez]
German soldiers support a wounded British soldier, circa 1917. [Colorized by Doug Banks]
British 55th (West Lancashire) Division troops blinded by a gas attack, await treatment at an Advanced Dressing Station near Bethune during the Battle of Estaires, Nord-Pas-de-Calais on the 10th of April 1918, part of the German offensive in Flanders. [Colorized by Doug Banks]
An Australian carrying his wounded mate to a medical aid post for treatment near Suvla on the Aegean coast of Gallipoli peninsula in the Ottoman Empire, 1915. The view is looking north-west from Walker’s Ridge towards the Suvla Plain. [Colorized by Doug Banks]
An infantryman of ‘A’ Company, 11th Battalion, The Cheshire Regiment, on sentry duty in a captured German trench near the Albert–Bapaume road at Ovillers-la-Boisselle, during the ‘Battle of the Somme’ in July 1916. [Colorized by Doug Banks]