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Soldiers of the 1st Battalion Cameron Highlanders receive instruction on a Bren gun fitted on an anti-aircraft mounting at Aldershot, 1939.

THE BRITISH ARMY IN SICILY 1943. Quad artillery tractors and 25pdrs of 51st Highland Division are cheered by crowds as they enter Militello, 15 July 1943.

OPERATION COLIN, BATTLE OF MAAS. Infantry of the 153rd Brigade, 51st Highland Division are carried into battle aboard a Mk.V. Sherman tank (T-233073) near Udenhout in the Netherlands. 29th of October 1944.

A sniper from "C" Company, 5th Battalion, The Black Watch, 51st (Highland) Division, in position in the loft space of a ruined building in Gennep, Holland, 14 February 1945.

from Mail Online

Heartbreaking photos of troops on the eve of the Somme 100 years ago

Compared with what was to follow, the weeks leading up to the bloodiest battle in British history were a gentle calm before the storm, as these astonishing 100-year-old photographs show.