Searching the ruins, "Somewhere in France"


Searching the ruins, "Somewhere in France"


Before us lie all that shot and shell have left of a peaceful village. The Germans have passed by ; they have left their mark. Church and dwelling are involved in common ruin. Even the trees are shattered and shell-torn. French soldiers are searching the ruins to inter the dead and to recover what they can of value. In their retreat before the British in 1917 the Germans laid waste thousands of acres of fair and smiling farmland. Houses were burned, fruit trees cut down, and stately shade trees lining the roads were sawed off. The very roads were torn up and destroyed. As far as the eye could see, all was desolation. Cattle, household effects, furniture even the spoons for the table, the knives and forks, and the cooking utensils, were carried off. What the Germans could not take away they destroyed, so that the villagers returning in sadness to what had once been home and seeking to construct from fallen bricks and beams some semblance of a shelter, found not the first necessary household article. With open heart, America sent men to reconstruct these devastated villages. For the first time in history frame houses sprang up on the soil of France. Plain they were, and humble, but they were a shelter they were warm and comfortable. The work was not completed before the German tide of invasion again rolled over the same countryside—the Hindenburg drive in the spring of 1918. The American workmen had to retreat before it, abandoning their work, but lingering to the last hour to help the distressed people pack, for the second time, their small possessions and tramp sadly away.



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, “Searching the ruins, "Somewhere in France",” Monash Collections Online, accessed July 23, 2024,

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