This photo has gone around on social media for a long time, claiming to be a genuine WW1 era photo of soldier suffering from shell shock in the trenches.
As someone who analyses old photos for a living I immediately felt that something was off, it just didn’t look right.
This time it didn’t take me very long to find out the origin of this photo, more people had wondered about it and had doubts.
A simple image search soon provided me with several pictures of this man, from different angles and in colour.
A few websites specialised in debunking fake images had also gotten their hands on it, such as the great HoaxEye website;
The photographer of the original picture is not to blame, when he uploaded it here to Flickr in 2010 he mentioned the location of the photo as being the Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset, United Kingdom.
But someone must have ignored that bit of information when they shared it online.
The photographer is Paul, AKA Megashorts, you can find the original photo and his account here;
It is of course a huge compliment to the people responsible for the display at the museum, they’ve managed to create such a lifelike mannequin who’s struggle with the war is so poignant and well displayed that people have been mesmerized by it and that a talented photographer can make countless people think it shows a real soldier in stress.
But it is important that we stop people from sharing this picture as being a genuine WW1 era photo of a soldier with shell shock.
Of course what the image depicts is genuine but the photo is relatively new and that the subject is not a real soldier or even human.
There are real WW1 images that show this horrible condition and even film footage.
It is good to make people think back to the terrible consequences of war, the huge sacrifices made and the horrors of shell shock then and now.
But when you do, use the real photos of real people who went through this, not a picture of a doll in a museum.
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Picture(s) found online, used for (re-)educational purposes only.
I do not own the copyrights to these images, I only share them here for educational purposes to try and make sure the real story behind it becomes known and people will stop spreading false information.
If the copyright owner objects to the sharing here, kindly contact me and I shall alter the article.
If you’re interested in using any of the images here get in touch with the copyright owners mentioned in the article.
Feel free to contact me with questions.