Friday, 14 March 2014

Two soldiers on opposing sides whose pictures show they were really just the same

Lost photographs from the Somme together for the first time as son of German trooper meets grandson of english Tommy and they find the two lads had much in common.They were sworn enemies – two soldiers entrenced on opposite sides of the Western Front. William ­Smallcombe, 24, and Walter Kleinfeldt, just 17, were at times only two miles apart. Each carried a small camera - permitted by the German army but banned by the British - to document the horrors of the First World War . And the pictures, which have emerged for the first time, show eerie ­similarities on both sides of the trenches. Initially, the two young men took shots of smiling comrades. Then in 1916 the Battle of the Somme , the bloodiest in British history, took place. William buried his best friend and photographed his makeshift grave, while Walter took pictures of the dead. As Walter’s son Volkmar Kleinfeldt explains: “The images became more stark, more sombre. He must have been deeply affected by what he experienced. After all, he was only a boy.” This week a TV documentary sees Volkmar meet William’s grandson Michael Smallcombe as they compare the images of war taken almost 100 years ago.Read More HERE

With it being the 100th anniversary of the First World War I will be posting articles relating to this dreadful period of history.