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World War I, Battle of the Somme, 1916. A German soldier wearing a gas mask about to hurl a handgrenade from a trench.

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WW1. The surprising thing to me is not the number of men who understandably broke down in this hell-hole, but the number who did not.

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Heartbreaking photos of troops on the eve of the Somme 100 years ago

Compared with what was to follow, the weeks leading up to the bloodiest battle in British history were a gentle calm before the storm, as these astonishing 100-year-old photographs show.

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First World War flight school plane crash.

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WWI, Dec 1916; British troops coming home for Christmas leave in London. -Doug (@colour_history) | Twitter

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THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME, JULY-NOVEMBER 1916

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Photos show faces of First World War soldiers on the eve of battle

A soldier holds a puppy as he has his picture taken

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World War I. German trench near Ypres

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July 1, 1916. The First Day of the Battle of the Somme. Despite the heavy loss of life and failure to achieve the expected breakthrough, Field Marshal Haig and General Rawlinson deemed the attack a success, so much that the offensive was to continue for a further four months, only ending with the onset of winter. - prisonersofeternity.co.uk

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" The Lost Tommies" - Three slightly dishevelled young Royal Army Medical Corps men. -Doug (@colour_history) | Twitter

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