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Tommies headed back to the trenches have added a football to their equipment, hoping to emulate the heroism of the Irish Rifles, Lees, England, c. 1915
Vintage ferrotyped gelatin silver print on paper
8 1/8 x 6 3/16 in. (20.64 x 15.72 cm)

Creation Place: Europe
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, Fernando Barnuevo and Gloria Ybarra
Accession Number: P2020.6.649

Purchased by the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College on August 12, 2020 from Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York.

Tommy Takes His Football: Recalling the splendid charge of the London Irish Rifles at Loos, when one of the men carried a football and kicked it along the battle lines, these Tommies have added a football to their equipment. Photographed today (Saturday), they are on their way back to the trenches and naturally hope to emulate the heroism of the Irish Rifles, Lees, England.

The London Irish Rifles (LIR) was a volunteer rifle regiment of the British Army with a distinguished history. It now forms HQ Company (London Irish Rifles) of the London Regiment and is part of the Army Reserve. The 1st battalion was mobilized in August 1914 at the start of the First World War at the Duke of York's Headquarters. It landed at Le Havre as part of the 5th London Brigade in the 2nd London Division. The 2nd Battalion landed in France in June 1916, in the 180th Brigade in the 60th (2/2nd London) Division. The 2nd Battalion served on the Salonika Front from December 1916 to June 1917 and then joined the Egyptian Expeditionary Force for the advance to Jericho. At the Battle of Loos, the 1st Battalion LIR particularly distinguished itself. While storming across No-Man's Land to capture the enemy trenches, Rifleman Frank Edwards, the Captain of the football team, kicked a football along in front of the troops as they approached the German lines. Some 1,016 London Irishmen were killed during the conflict.

Sheet: 8 1/2 x 6 9/16

Ferrotyped prints are processed in such a way that they are shiny. The print has a sensitive surface, usually thinner, because it was put through a press while still wet.

Ferrotyped prints have a sensitive surface, usually shiny and thinner, because they are put through a press while still wet. Ferrotyping makes the surface of the photograph smoother. Light does not scatter as much on a smoother surface, so this increases contrast. That makes ferrotyped images better for press photography.

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  • Image Dimensions: 8 1/8 x 6 3/16 in. (20.64 x 15.72 cm)

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