Black and white photographic print which depicts the Quarry Siding located in the valley between the towns of Bazentin-le-Grand and Montauban, France. Montauban was attacked and captured by the British forces on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, July 1st 1916 and remained in Allied hands until March 1918. As battles continued around the town of Montauban, the Quarry Siding was used as an assembly position for attacks on Bazentin Ridge, a location for troops to receive provisions and as an Advanced Dressing Station. The Advanced Dressing Station was able to provide limited medical treatment to those men who had been wounded on the frontline. A cemetery was established at the Advanced Dressing Station at the Quarry Siding in July 1916 and was used up until February 1917.

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

The image depicts a mud strewn field or what was a battle site at some point. Piles of debris and remnants of poles can be seen in the foreground. In the mid ground a large open structure remains standing. A group of stationary trucks sit in the field to the left of the structure. Behind the structure and the trucks the outline of a campsite is just visible. An unsealed road runs through the centre of the landscape and stretches in to the distance. On the horizon, dead trees stand.

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.

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