The remains of a ruined church. Devastated by shellfire, all that remains is a figure of Christ. The photographer, most likely John Warwick Brooke, has chosen the statue as the central focus of the photograph, as seen through a shell hole. It is a carefully composed and intentionally thought-provoking, if not contrived, shot.
It is possible that this image would have been used as propaganda by the Government and Military, with the intention of offending people’s religious sensibilities. Associating the destruction of a place of worship with the German Army, it was hoped, would further fuel a collective hatred of the enemy.
[Original reads: ‘OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT. THE BATTLE OF BROODSEYNDE [Broodseinde]. Seen through a shell hole. What German guns did to Breelen church. Note figure of Christ intact.’]
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