• By: Marie Waine

The Hidden World of the First World War

jeffguskyImagine exploring the French countryside only to discover underground cities belonging to the soldiers of the First World War. Well that is exactly the situation Jeffrey Gusky, American doctor, artist and explorer, found himself in—and now he is sharing it with you!

In conjunction with National Geographic, Gusky shows his work in the August 2014 issue of the magazine. His photographs give a never-before-seen glimpse into the lives of soldiers.

We aren’t talking about a few hideouts from the mass destruction of the war. Gusky’s photos feature a network of cities that lay beneath the French countryside. There are electric lights, hospitals, chapels, theatres, offices, street signs, telephones, housing and even pieces art on the walls. These cities were made in old rock quarries—the soft rock allowing for etchings and graffiti. This was their escape.

When the cities were in use, hardly anyone knew they existed—all part of the magic. Gusky is believed to be one of the first to explore and discover many of the different city sites. His collection of photographs will now share his remarkable discovery with the rest of the world. He will shine a light on what was once a dark secret.

French Soldiers' Dining Area UndergroundNot only will a hidden world be made public, but these photographs will give a closer look into the lives of soldiers from a war that hits close to home for so many. Expect to have your breath taken away as you get a first look at the humanity of the First World War—there are signs of faith, family and home.

The spread in National Geographic will no doubt have us all thinking more about the human side to war. And with the centenary of the First World War upon us, there is no better time to take a look back and reflect on soldiers who battled and fought for their countries.