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P02600.001

Image copyright: Copyright expired - public domain,
Public Domain Mark This image is in the Public Domain

ID number P02600.001
Collection Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin
Photographer Unknown
Place made France: Picardie, Somme
Date made 9 August 1917

Description

An aerial oblique photograph of part of the Somme battlefield looking east, taken from above a 500-yard map square area identified as 'O.23.c' on a British 1:40,000 scale military map 'Sheet 28'. The photograph has been keyed by three rays to features on a section of this map oriented in the same direction. The angle of the oblique judged from the recognisable features (Pellegrems Farm as notated on the photograph (Pillegrams Fm on the map), and Code Farm as rayed to the foot of the map) appears to indicate aircraft and not balloon photography, aircraft oblique photographs being taken from an altitude of from 1,000 to 1,500 feet, while balloon altitude was generally from 3,000 to 4,000 feet. Earthworks or obstacles indicating the vicinity of the German Omellette trenches can be seen just above the centre of the photograph, to the left and right of arc. The map from which the section was taken is a conventional British military terrain map based on the Belgian national survey. It identifies some of the original farms by English names eg. Rifle Farm, Lake Farm, Pip Farm etc. The large numbers on the map - 23, 24 and 19 - indicate the centres of 1,000 yard squares, thus the photograph covers portions of all three squares. The photograph, dated while 1st Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (I ANZAC), comprising 1st, 2nd and 5th Australian Divisions, was out of the line on a four-month rest period (May - September 1917), may have been taken, with many other photographs, to assist in preliminary planning for the Menin Road battle which commenced on 20 September 1917. This would accord with the source of the photograph being Second Lieutenant (2Lt) R.S.Demaine of the 6th Battalion, an infantry unit of 1st Division, I ANZAC, which took part in that battle. Ypres is some 6,000 yards to the west (off the bottom of the photograph and map) and Zonnebeke some 3,000 yards to the north-east (top left of both).