A village reduced to debris near Verdun, France


A village reduced to debris near Verdun, France


This is one of the hundreds of villages caught in the storm of war that swept over Northern France but a few years ago. The villagers returning to their homes after the deluge was over, found but the mass of ruins we see. What had once been home, with all its sacred memories, they found smashed and broken, a pile of debris. Fallen roofs, crumbling walls and charred beams, unspeakably desolate and forlorn, were all that was left of the once cosy home. Yet to these ruins they returned, for to the French peasant no other spot is home. Here he played as a lad. Here his parents and grandparents lived their simple lives. Every foot of the village street had its memories. To the ruins of their villages the French returned in thousands. They sorted out every serviceable stick or beam. They pried apart the tottering walls and built them up again. Some way, somehow, they found a roof to cover them, and forthwith set to work to cultivate the ground. A labor of infinite and painstaking toil it has been to rebuild these wrecked villages, but a labor of love as well. For the past three years or more it has been proceeding day by day. During these years homes have been rebuilt, in such fashion as they might. Shell craters have been filled, trenches obliterated. Seed has been sown and crops are growing. For the men and women of France have an indomitable spirit and a vast fund of common sense. They do not idly mourn over the inevitable. They realize facts and adapt themselves to them. It is to this characteristic that the greatness of France is largely due.

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, “A village reduced to debris near Verdun, France,” Monash Collections Online, accessed June 20, 2024, https://repository.erc.monash.edu/items/show/25443.

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