Colourised Photographs Of The First World War


Colourised Photographs Of The First World War

There is a growing trend amongst photographers, designers and historians to utilise technology to colourise old photographs. With the centenary of the First World War well under way there has been a plethora of colourisation projects under way. Here’s a selection of some of my favourite colourised photographs of the first world war.


A General View From Devas

One of the most famous and iconic images of the First World War. Personally I’m not sure whether the colour adds to or detracts from the original. The black and white version, in my mind, makes the scene look stark and coneys the decimation in a way that the colour version just doesn’t seem to do: though that is probably because I’m so used to seeing the black and white version.

Oddly, the opposite is the case with the following photograph.


Looks good in Black and White but the filth and horrendous conditions are much clearer, to me at any rate, in this version:

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There are hundreds, if not thousands of colourised images from the First World War available online. Here’s a selection of some of the better collections:

Liverpool Echo – nice gallery, from which the above pair of images were sourced

WW1 Colourised Photos group on Facebook – this is a collaborative group where members share photographs that they have colourised. The standard is remarkably high and it’s always nice to check your newsfeed and find a new, interesting photo: and lots of them are ones I’ve never seen before.


Another very well known image that has been colourised.

This Pinterest page has numerous colourised photos as well as some postcards. Well worth looking at.

Bucy-le-Long during the battle of the Aisne in 1917

Bucy-le-Long during the battle of the Aisne in 1917

The Open University have conducted a colourisation project containing many fantastic images, including the one below. This is of Indian troops entrenched on the Western Front.

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