Similar but different…

Richard Maddox

THE UNIFORMS ARE DIFFERENT. The featureless mud and wet has been exchanged for featureless sand and heat.

But taken almost 90 years apart by British Army photographers, these images show that for the infantryman – or PBI meaning for ‘Poor Bl**dy Infantry’ – some things never change…

Men of the 8th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment going up to the line near Frezenberg, Belgium during the Third Battle of Ypres, 5 October 1917. Image by Ernest Brooks. Image copyright IWM. IWM catalogue reference Q 2978. Original source: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205194704

Men of the 8th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment going up to the line near Frezenberg, Belgium during the Third Battle of Ypres, 5 October 1917. Image by Ernest Brooks. Image copyright IWM. IWM catalogue reference Q 2978. Original source: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205194704

Men of 1st Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment, 16 Air Assault Brigade, are silhouetted against the sun as they move along a ridge during a patrol in Iraq, March 2003. Image by Giles Penrose. Image Crown copyright. IWM catalogue reference OP-TELIC 03-010-17-145. Original source: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205219130

Men of 1st Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment, 16 Air Assault Brigade, are silhouetted against the sun as they move along a ridge during a patrol in Iraq, March 2003. Image by Giles Penrose. Image Crown copyright. IWM catalogue reference OP-TELIC 03-010-17-145. Original source: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205219130

Note

The Third Battle of Ypres (also known as Passchendaele) lasted from 31 July to 10 November 1917.

Operation TELIC was the over-arching name for the British forces involvement in the Iraq conflict from 2003 to 2009.

More information on the career of Ernest Brooks can be found at a variety of sources, some of which are listed below:

(1) https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/world-war-one-mirror-pictures-3376515

(2) http://www.historiccamera.com/cgi-bin/librarium2/pm.cgi?action=app_display&app=datasheet&app_id=3580

(3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Brooks_(photographer)

(4) https://pdnpulse.pdnonline.com/2016/10/world-war-photography-ernest-brooks.html

2 thoughts on “Similar but different…

    • iwmvolunteerlondon says:

      Thank you once again Mike.

      Like most of my posts it really is a case of unplanned and lucky discovery. Ernest Brooks’ imagery is well known (and sometime criticized for reducing things to virtual cut-outs and therefore ignoring the individual and the details of what they experienced).
      I am not suggesting plagiarism but I can easily see that a photographer would/could be influenced by his work and want to create a modern version.
      Of course the other thing is (and I know this from experience) one creates what they think is a unique image or artwork, recipe etc – only to find that someone has had the same idea!

      Like

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