Shells bursting in ruined French village


Shells bursting in ruined French village


This was a scene of almost daily occurrence during the Great War. France suffered terribly. Hundreds of villages were completely blotted out. Literally scarce one stone left standing upon another. None can comprehend how complete the destruction save those who have seen it with their own eyes. Even the village streets have in many instances disappeared, buried under a mass of ruins. Fragments of stone wall lie everywhere in confusion. Stucco has been ground to powder and covers everything like finely sifted snow. Tile roofs have been scattered to bits. Not even a cat is to be seen in these deserted villages which dot the fields of northern France. Early in the war the inhabitants of these villages, unaware of the atrocities they were to endure, and attached to their homes as none but the French are, remained in their houses as the German host overflowed the land. But later, as tales of the unbelieveable cruelty to which they were subjected filtered out, the French government itself drove them out before the German advance. Nothing could be more pathetic than these forced migrations ; old men and women, torn from the firesides beside which their whole life had been spent, sat mournfully upon carts piled hastily with their poor articles of furniture, or dragged their weary limbs along the dusty roads women with children hanging at their skirts lugged household belongings upon their shoulders ; half grown boys drove cattle, sheep or goats. Sad, bedraggled, tired, and hungry, helpless and hopeless, hundreds of such processions dragged their weary way along the highways of France, leaving behind them all they had known of comfort or happiness.

Spatial Coverage



1 stereograph : b&w
1 gelatine silver print stereograph (8 x 15 cm) mounted on card (9 x 18 cm)


Copyright. The Keystone View Company
No known restrictions on publication


World War through the stereoscope

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Keystone View Company, “Shells bursting in ruined French village,” Monash Collections Online, accessed June 13, 2024,

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