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As we remember 100 years since the First World War, here are 20 iconic photos taken in the trenches and front lines. Photographers risked their lives alongside soldiers to bring the story of the war home.

Dubbed ‘The War To End War’, the WWI was a futile and wholly avoidable conflict.

Political meddling and nefarious ambition led to a war that claimed 17 million lives and left 21 million injured.

These 20 photos are our selection of the best from the trenches and front lines of the war. Watch the video for HD resolution or see the photos below.


1. British/ANZAC trench, Northern France

Photo: Netherlands Nationaal Archief

2. Over the top

Photo: John Warwick Brooke/National Library of Scotland

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3. The town of Gommecourt on the front line

Photo: National Library of Scotland

4. A German soldier throws a hand grenade

Photo: AP Photo

5. Brits at the Third Battle of Ypres

Photo: James Francis Hurley

6. An aerial view of the Western Front

Photo: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

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7. Pill box demolishers

Photo: Australian official photographs/State Library of New South Wales

8. A German prisoner with British soldier

Photo: National Library of Scotland

9. British artillery bombards German positions on the Western Front

Photo: Library of Congress

10. Soldiers in the trenches write letters home

Photo: Unknown

11. Aerial view of the Somme Front

Photo: NARA/U.S. War Dept.

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12. Gas attack on the Flanders front

Photo: National Archive/Official German Photograph of WWI

13. Australian soldier rescues a comrade

Photo: NARA/US War Dept

14. Slavic soldiers as the German cavalry broke through

Photo: National World War I Museum, Kansas City, Missouri

15. The 9th British Lancers charging German artillery

Photo: REX USA/Underwood Archives / UIG / Rex

16. A wounded soldier receives treatment

Photo: U.S. Army/U.S. National Archives

17. Chateau Woods, 3rd Battle of Ypres, 1917

Photo: Frank Hurley

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18. French soldiers in a bayonet charge

Photo: Agence de presse Meurisse

19. War Rations

Photo: National Library of Scotland

20. Soldier at Grave

Gallipoli campaign memorial
Photo: PA Photos/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Let us never forget!