Rare Photos That Accurately Depict The Aftermath Of World War I

Nov. 11, 1918, was the day the world had desperately needed. That was the day an armistice came about between the Allies and Germany. The “war to end all wars” had officially ended and it seemed like things could only get better. Around the world, people cheered for joy, and America turned the corner with the Roaring Twenties. Yes, renewed times were on the horizon, but the cost to get to that point was very high. Celebrations mixed with mournings was normal during the period after WWI. Here are the photographs that defined life post-WWI.

Tributes To Horses

Animals played a crucial part in the first World War. They carried vital items that soldiers, nurses, and all types of workers needed but couldn’t get themselves due to extreme conditions. Animals, especially horses, were some of the best modes of transportation during this time as well.

As a salute to their fallen horses, soldiers lined up and formed a human portrait of the four-legged warrior. The war wouldn’t have been the same without them.

New Legs

Surely, there were a lot of fatal happenings during World War I. Making it out of the battle alive was a blessing. Getting out without much done to you was even greater. Sadly, some people passed and others left the battlegrounds of the war missing key components of their body.

Here we see men lining up, but for what? They are in line so that they could be taught how to use their new artificial limbs.

Rescue The Plane

ditched britush seaplane
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

This is an image of a ditched British seaplane. During the war, you saw a lot of that. Plenty of abandoned vehicles, including aircraft and tanks were likely found across all battlefields. Seeing this seaplane like this makes you realize the harsh realities of war.

Either the pilot of this jumped out before something terrible happened or perished during operation. They can’t just leave it in the water, so they had to rescue it.

What Was

After tons of destruction, many families had nothing to return home to. In many cases, none of their relatives or close friends did either. All that was left was rubble from destroyed buildings. What were these people to do?

Here, we see a small family looking at what was. This very well could have been their home, or a business they used to visit often. Whatever it may have been, it couldn’t have been a nice feeling seeing it like this.

In Need Of Food

german women looking for food
Three Lions/Getty Images

After all of the destruction, you can imagine that many resources would be hard to come by. Things like clean drinking water, plumbing, and one of the most essential necessities, food, was scarce as ever.

What you’re seeing here is a group of German women desperately trying to find some food underneath all of the rubbish. During the war, it was already tough to find proper nourishment for your body, and it only became worse in the immediate aftermath.

Linking Back Up With Your People

In this photo, we see Lord Ypres and King Albert of Belgium in Ypres after the war. It was an interesting period for Belgium when Albert was king, especially during World War I. During that time, 90 percent of Belgium was overrun, occupied, and ruled by the German Empire.

It must have been a great feeling to have your people safely return once the war ended. Walking through Ypres at this moment must have felt great.

A Bag Of Bones

decomposed german body
Contributor/Getty Images

Losing your life on the battlefield during the war is indeed not the way anyone plans on going out. What’s even worse is not being able to receive a proper burial. To have your body remain where you died is one thing, but to have it there until you decompose into a skeleton is horrible.

Hopefully, after they found this person’s remains and took a photo of it, they were able to give whoever it was a proper grave.

Fundraising For The Red Cross

In order to get civilization back up and running how it used to be, people needed to unite and figure it out. One way that came to fruition was through great fundraising. Here, people are helping the Red Cross fundraiser in Adelaide, Australia.

Every cent, dollar or donation was crucial during this period. The Red Cross has always been a staple in communities across the globe for how they help those who are in need of it the most.

The Great Return

Returning from the war was probably one of the greatest feelings a soldier could have felt after the first World War ended. Getting the chance to see family members, eating a meal prepared by your mother or spouse; no wonder these men are all waving with smiles.

The only thing that could have put a hamper on moments like this is if a soldier had no one to go home to. In that situation, being thankful the war is over is best.

Remembering The Fallen

lady planting
Contributor/Getty Images

In this deep, touching photo, you see a lady planting an evergreen tree to honor the memory of a loved one who lost their life. This is now a custom in the U.S. as relatives of heroes hold a day of planting.

Sometimes, even though this is a positive gesture, many people can’t bare the pain of losing a loved one. Especially, if that life gets taken in the manner of war or in an unexpected nature.


As we’ve mentioned earlier, things weren’t always gloomy and sad. There are times to grieve and moments when you accept that that battlecries will no longer be heard. Jumping for joy is completely acceptable after you’ve been through a world war. Just ask these people.

Looks like getting tossed ten feet into the air isn’t as scary as it sounds. Everyone here is all smiles. We just hope they catch them and they don’t end up in the hospital.

Fighting The Flu Part One

flu mask after war
Keystone/Getty Images

Aside from all the pain caused from lost lives, the destroyed buildings from fighting and all the other bad things, there was something else scary going down after the war. Once the first world war ended, there came a big flu epidemic.

These people here are wearing masks during this period to help prevent catching the deadly sickness. In the next slide, you’ll see what else they did to ensure their health was safe…

Spray It Down

anti-flu spray
Davis/Getty Images

To help prevent many from becoming sick from the flu, not only did individuals wear masks, but things and places were sprayed down with an anti-flu spray. During this time, roughly 40 million people died from the flu.

It isn’t like today where doctors have better treatments to offer patients and provide preventive treatment. Back then, the flu was deadly. Masks, spray and anything else to help limit the chances of people catching it was ideal.

Time For A Party

women police force attending party for war workers
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Of course, there can’t always be a period of pain and remorse. When things begin settling down and everyone comes to terms that the war is over, there’s a place for celebration. That is what these amazing ladies are up to.

Pictured here is the women police force attending a party for war workers. Not only did they survive the horrid times, but they also had a hand in helping everyone get past it.

Load Up The Bus

bus to hospital having fun
A. R. Coster/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Buses have come a long way since the first world war. Here, we see an open topped bus crossing a flooded road. The people in the picture were on an outing given by Mr. Weinthal for convalescent colonials from Richmond Hospital.

For concerns related with health and sickness, no matter how high the road flooded, the mission needed carrying out. Thankfully, they had this bus to travel across the high waters while Mr. Weinthal watched from the side.

Marching In Tune

Washing Square Arch

Marching has always been a part of military procedures. Whether its getting from one place to the next or a ceremonial type of marching, you can always count on soldiers to perform this basic task.

In this case, this was more of a ceremonial march. It took place in Washing Square Arch located in New York City, New York after the war ended. It was a sign of the bad times coming to an end finally.

Walking Through The Ruins

Once the war was over, it was only natural to expect a lot of debris and ruin everywhere battles took place. In this picture, we see men on horseback of the first Anzac Corps making their way past the ruins of the Cathedral and Cloth Hall in Ypres, France.

We wonder what their thoughts, concerns, and feelings were during moments like this. We hope they didn’t lose many loved ones and that they planned on bringing this place back to how it used to be.

A King Pays Respects

This is a picture of King George V of England. Here, he is paying a visit to the graves of fallen soldiers. That’s very noble of a king to do, no matter what country he’s from or what his beliefs are.

Paying your respects is something all leaders should do after suffering massive casualties. It just shows that you are a man of honor and code. Also, it lets your people know that you care.

Prisoners Delighted

During war, other countries capture people for whatever reason. It’s the art of war, apparently. These men are the first released British prisoners to reach Tournai, Belgium after WWI. Judging by the smiles on their faces, we know that they’re very happy.

Who wouldn’t be happy for freedom and to have remained alive after all that battling took place? You’d probably be front row with a huge smile on your face as well after those type of circumstances.

Quick, Pose With The Lion

The lion is the king of the jungle. It also looks like they are the king of statues. If you pay close attention to all the destruction behind this happy man and the carved lion, it looks like the lion was the last thing standing.

This picture took place at the Menin Gate found in Ypres, Belgium. Now, that place is dedicated to those who were killed in the Ypres Salient during World War I. The graves are also unknown.