Tuesday, 27 November 2018

French view of the First World War by Janie Hampton

During the last four years we have seen the First World War from many angles. But how did the French see it? A few years ago I found two large-format bound volumes of the magazine L’Illustration in the street with a notice ‘Take Me’. Being an obedient citizen, I did. And then wondered what to do with them. Now I am glad I did not throw them out.  My school French can read the titles and the subject matter but not the detail. So I share with you some of the 100s of illustrations, drawn and photographed.

A fictional village in Alsace the day after German occupation
- suddenly the residents are very patriotic
French soldiers crossing the Canal d'Yser under fire....
..while officers of several armies enjoy life in the Café du Paix in Paris...
...and their daughters play in the Bois de Boulogne...

...and refugee children from the North hope for morsels of food.

Aeroplanes were a new weapon of war..
...but the French Army relied on donkeys for transport in the trenches.
...and reinforcements from the 43rd Battalion of Senegal.
L’Illustration dealt with subjects other than war, including the dangers of high heels (with X-Rays of damaged ankles to prove it); how to bottle apples; and the Russian Revolution (the editor of L’Illustration did not seem to like the Bolsheviks). In December 1918, advertisements reappeared on the back page. 
At the end of the war, there were celebrations across France. 
..while German prisoners-of -war wondered 'What next?'
Nearly 130,000 prisoners were taken at La Somme in August 1918.
France, depicted as a lovely woman, thanks a French soldier for saving her....
..while a surprised 'America' glares at a conquered 'Germany'.
After the war, soldiers rescued a bronze sculpture of  Eve, made by Auguste Rodin
in 1881 and buried in a garden in Douai, northern France
The British Prime Minister Lloyd George was awarded a double-page  portrait on the last page of L'Illustration 1918.


Anonymous said...

Is no one monitoring the comments on this blog? It is sad that Janie Hampton went to so much trouble to make this post for it to be trashed by people who seem to have no interest in the subject of the Blog.

Katherine Langrish said...

Dealt with it, Toffeapple, and thankyou for pointing it out.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sorting it out Katherine, it was a shame to think that Janie's work was not appreciated.