West Indian regiment in their camp, France, during World War I

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Where: Centre, France

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When: 01 January 1918

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West Indian regiment in their camp, France, during World War I. Half a dozen soldiers are standing in a group in the space between their tents. The tents are canvas cones, most of which have their sides rolled up suggesting that the weather is warm and there is no mud in evidence. Most of their equipment is lying on the ground outside of their tents. The soldiers are all in uniform and looking at the sky. Some of them are shading their eyes with their hats.

The derogatory term for a German, 'Boche', originates from the French slang alboche, derived from two words allemand (German) and caboche (pate, head). 16,000 soldiers were recruited and two battalions (volunteers) travelled from the West Indies to fight with the Allies.

[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE FRONT IN FRANCE - Men of a West Indian Regt. watching a Bosche aeroplane being chased by our planes.']



Owner: National Library of Scotland
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 48070
worldwar1 worldwari worldwarone thegreatwar greatwar ww1 wwi soldiers army west indians caribbeans aeroplane plane war france regiment camp nls library scotland nationallibraryofscotland haig douglas general sir 19141918 british indies belltent nls:dodprojectid=74462370 nls:source=solrxml organization:library=nationallibraryofscotland owner:name=nationallibraryofscotland nls:dodid=74546776 nls:derivative=74300990 firstworldwar

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    • 12/Nov/2008 19:22:16

    Those would be bell tents. We were still using them in the Girl Guides in the 70's. This photo is an amazing treasure, few people realise the caribbean troops were in WW1

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    • 30/Sep/2010 17:13:04

    how i wish to find some of my grandfather's old photo while he's still in service.. he served in vietnam in his time in 1945 or 46 i think... i hate war but i deeply respect those brave soldier who sacrifice their own lives for others...

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    • 10/Jul/2011 10:55:06


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    • 08/Feb/2013 06:42:48

    With the way so many are looking up, it may be the first ime they saw an airplane (or a dogfight, if they're close enough to the front).