Although this church has been irreparably damaged by shellfire, traces of its former glory can still be seen in the ruined remains. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the original caption to suggest where on the Western Front this church stood. It is one of countless thousands of French and Belgian buildings that were devastated during the war. In France alone it is estimated that around 300,000 houses and over 1,000 churches were destroyed.
It is thought this photograph was taken by the British official photographer, John Warwick Brooke. During his time at the Western Front, between 1916 and 1918, Warwick Brooke captured much of the devastation caused to the towns and villages lining the Front.
[Original reads: ‘BRITISH OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH FROM THE WESTERN FRONT. A shell stricken church.’]