Around the world there was a renewed interest in a war that had not been fresh in the public memory for many years.” “To mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, I decided to collate 100 images I've colourised in tribute to the men and ...and more »
Even today, one hundred years on from the end of the First World War, fading black and white images of the horrors of the Western Front still have the power to shock.
But the sheer terror endured by those who gave their all has been given renewed meaning and added impact by a set of newly colourised photographs of the conflict.
The series of 100 images, their colours making it seem as if the conflict came to an end just yesterday, has been painstakingly produced to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.
Among the photographs is one of a wounded German prisoner of war, both eyes bandaged, being gently led along a railway line by a British tommy in 1916, a French soldier behind them weighed down by the heavy tripod of an early camera.
Another shows gunners from the Royal Garrison Artillery pushing a light railway truck filled with shells and British officers standing outside the mouth of a German trench in Messines, Belgium, after its capture in 1917.
Other, equally striking pictures show King George V sitting next to an army commander on the site where Thiepval Chateau stood before its destruction during heavy fighting in September 1916, and a more light hearted one of a soldier receiving a haircut from an Alpine barber on the Albanian front.
Tom Marshall, who spent weeks colourising the original black and white photographs, said: “I began colourising black and white photos professionally in 2014, coinciding with the centenary of the outbreak of WW1 in 1914. Around the world there was a renewed interest in a war that had not been fresh in the public memory for many years.”
“To mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, I decided to collate 100 images I’ve colourised in tribute to the men and women who lived through the war, and those who lost their lives.”
The Nottingham-based photo colouriser added: “I included men and women of several nationalities, races and religions, as the entire world was affected by the war, and I hope the photos will show an insight into the lesser known stories and events.”
Mr Marshall, of PhotograFix, appealed for people to make a donation to the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal - or to a similar appeal in their home country - as a way of remembering the men captured in his images, as well as the estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilians who died as a direct result of the war.
Mr Marshall said: “Since 2014 I have been very fortunate to have been able to work on exhibitions, press articles and books commemorating significant WW1 anniversaries, but I have also been honoured to work on personal family photos, which all have unique insights into what was truly the first global conflict”.
By adding colour to images previously seen only in black and white he hopes to convey to a new generation the grim reality of a war.
Now ‘the pity of war’ so powerfully evoked by the poets of the trenches a century ago has, thanks to Mr Marshall, a modern, colour drenched hue.
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