This photograph shows two members of a trench mortar crew of the 3rd Canadian Division. These men worked with mortars, which shoot explosive shells out of a tube at a steep elevation angle to hit enemies at shorter ranges. Mortars were very beneficial in the trenches, since they allowed soldiers to attack even enemies in trenches without the mortar crewmen leaving the cover of their own trenches.
Mortars and artillery pieces, such as howitzers and field guns, were used extensively in World War I. Since these weapons are often fired from great distances, soldiers on both sides were capable of hitting enemy soldiers both inside and outside of trenches with a well-aimed shot.
New York State Archives. New York (State). Education Dept. Division of Archives and History. Working files for a publication on New York in World War I, 1917-1925. Series A3166-78, Box 1, Folder 18.
This image is provided for education and research purposes. Rights may be reserved. Responsibility for securing permissions to distribute, publish, reproduce or other use rest with the user. For additional information see our Copyright and Use Statement