Near La Harazée July 11, 1917. Frédéric Duriez / BDIC /

By Rebecca Drew

INCREDIBLE colourised images have revealed what life was like for French soldiers who fought in WW1.


Trail and relay of stretcher bearers for the evacuation of the wounded, October 28, 1917. Frédéric Duriez / BDIC /

The stunning pictures show men reading their mail in the safety of a shelter, smiling in the trenches in Souain and trying to grab some important sleep on top of sandbags. In others, soldiers can be seen bathing their horses in a river and the wounded on their evacuation route.


Louppy-le-Petit, 1916. INCREDIBLE colourised images have revealed what life was like for French soldiers who fought in WW1. Frédéric Duriez / BDIC /

One photograph shows men enjoying a meal at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, whilst another shows a truck stuck in mud.

Eiffel Tower, Paris, 26 July 1915. Frédéric Duriez / BDIC /

The expertly colourised shots were brought to life by French bank technician, Frédéric Duriez (51). The images were provided by the Valois collection which belongs to the BDIC.

“By colourising these photos, I reduce the time that separates us today from this conflict,” said Frédéric.


Second Spahis regiment, April 1916. Frédéric Duriez / BDIC /

“A black and white photo does not attract the attention of young people, if you colour it, then people will look at it with curiosity.

“After this, we see the greater the misery and distress of these French fighters.”


May 1915. Frédéric Duriez / BDIC /

The total number of casualties in WW1 was more that 38 million. By the end of the war, over eight-million men had been called up to fight in the French army.

France suffered 4.2 million casualties during the war with 1.3 million people dead.



Souain, January 20, 1916. Frédéric Duriez / BDIC /

“I love the colour and facial expressions of the people,” added Frédéric.


Car cannon sections in firing position, Auxi-le-Château. Frédéric Duriez / BDIC /

“I get good reactions from people and I am surprised at this, many tell me that they are impressed by the colours I use and that it highlights the characters.”