These Amazing Colourized Photographs Bring World War I To Life


Soldiers could spend the majority of their deployments in the trenches. Here, a soldier receives a haircut from a barber on the Albanian front. 


In honour of World War I’s centennial this year, The Open University has “colourized” a sample of select photos from the conflict with the help of a photograph restoration expert. 


The photos, which were originally in black and white, feel jarringly current when colourized. World War I began 100 years ago, but these photos remind us one of the worst and seemingly most inexplicable conflicts in history isn’t quite as far off as it might seem.


The conflict, which killed over nine million people and affected almost ever corner of the globe, began on July 28, 1914. Thought of as the “war to end all wars,” World War I marked a number of firsts in military conflict, including the use of planes, tanks, and chemical weapons. 

Trenches provided no protection against the deployment of chemical weapons. Here, a Canadian soldier poses with his horse while wearing a gas mask at the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps Headquarters. 

Fearing a gas attack, Indian infantry soldiers don their masks while taking position in a trench.

World War I was truly a global conflict. These soldiers were members of the 1st Australian Imperial Force, and are pictured here at a military base in their home country. 5-australian-imperial-force-ww1-colour

Trench warfare was one of the hallmarks of World War I. 7-soldiers-advance-from-trench-ww1-colour

Soldiers from the Canadian infantry pose with their unit’s animal mascot. The pets were a common means of boosting morale in the midst of an unimaginably violent conflict.8-canadian-infantry-with-mascot-ww1-colour


Colour Photography from

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