Laura White
Laura White

Last Friday evening I wandered up to the viewing of Dartmoor Auctions forthcoming sale in Chagford, among the hundreds of lots I found an old stereoscope, with a series of photographs.

Each photograph is in fact two photographs side by side both slightly different and when viewed through the stereoscope you see an early form of 3D photography.

The stereoscope came with two boxes of photographs, maybe 120 in all. I have been a photographer and spend a lot of my time looking at photographs and I have seen photographs from the First World War, but never like this, portraying what it must have been like to live and fight during that awful war a hundred years ago.

The condition the men lived in, photographs of many dead, German soldiers surrendering, British ‘Tommies’ climbing out of their trenches to fight the enemy. Among them was a posed photograph of Edward the Prince of Wales in uniform at the front and his father George V visiting a munitions factory in uniform.

Tim Penrose of Dartmoor Auctions said: “Stereoscopes were quite common some 100 years ago and often showed photographs of war scenes.

“There were two kinds, a sanitised version for public consumption and this version showing the real horrors of what was happening which would be only seen by a few. These are quite rare.”