Images rescued from dump reveal black British 'Tommy' at the Somme

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At first glance, there may seem to be nothing unusual about this photograph, rescued from a rubbish skip in northern France.

Look, though, at the British soldier on the left. He is black: a very rare example of an image of a black"Tommy" from the First World War.

The photograph is one of almost 400 snaps of British soldiers on the eve of, and during, the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The trove has been rescued from oblivion by two French men. Many of the images are published in today's Independent magazine for the first time. The photographs, all of which are preserved on glass plates, lay undisturbed in the attic of a ramshackle barn 10 miles behind the Somme battlefields for more than 90 years.

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