Black and white photographic print which portrays a group of soldiers most likely burying a comrade, in the village of Neuf Berquin. Neuf Berquin is located in the north-east of France, close to the Belgium border and the frontline of the Flanders battlefields. Soldiers would remove corpses from the battlefields and bury their known fellow soldiers and allies in makeshift cemeteries away from the frontline. There is no record of a military cemetery at Neuf Berquin which means it is likely that the graves depicted in this photograph were moved to cemeteries in nearby villages at the conclusion of the War.

It is one of 95 black and white, and, sepia toned photographs taken in France during World War I, attached to a photograph album. The album includes a few photographs of enemy prisoners, the war cemetery at Warloy, a wrecked German ambulance and images of the local French people.

Most photographs are of Albert and surrounds so it would seem probable that most were taken during and after the Battle of the Somme (1916). In addition there are also photographs dated 1917. The photographs were taken by Private John Edward Lord, 13th Field Ambulance, and brought back to Australia by him and compiled in an album at the end of the First World War.

The album is one of many souvenirs brought back to Australia after World War I by Lord, and is part of a larger collection of photograph albums, images, documents and World War I memorabilia donated by Lord to Museum Victoria.

Description of Content

In the right foreground several men are standing around with shovels or participating in digging grave plots. In front of the group of men a tarp covers an unknown object, most likely a human body. Behind the men a group of unsaddled horses are standing stationary. Beyond the group of horses the rooftop of a house is visible. To the left of the group of men, four wagons are visible, two of them carrying supplies.The other two can not be identified. In the mid to far background trees and shrubs are visible.

Physical Description

Monochrome photograph, mounted in a small, grey photograph album.


This album appears to have been prepared to 'showcase' the war experiences of John Lord and the photographs associated with these. The album has been very carefully prepared and the quality of the photographs is generally good, in comparison to the album ST40491, also compiled by John Lord, which has a number of photographs which are of poor quality, many photographs removed and written in (mostly) illegible pencil. This suggests this album was most probably compiled after the war, with photographs probably gathered from other photograph albums of Lord's.

The subjects of the photographs are of trenches (both German and Allies), horses, camps, farms, graves and cemeteries, civilians, soldiers, churches and other buildings. Many of the photographs were taken around the town of Albert and are dated 1916 and 1917. From this information we can tell that Lord was involved with the Battle of the Somme when these photographs were taken.

The Battle of the Somme was fought from north of the Somme river between the towns of Albert and Arras. The Battle began on the 1 July and was called off on the 18 November 1916. The Battle of the Somme is famous for the loss of 58,000 British troops (one third of them killed) on the first day of the battle, 1 July 1916, which to this day remains a one-day record.

More Information