Thanks to a well-chosen position, the camera picks out the smiling faces of these marching soldiers from the London Scottish Battalion, also known as the 'Cockney Jocks' or 'Piccadilly Allsorts'. Their good humour is well-earned: the regiment was being lauded for its contribution to an allied counter offensive in Ypres, Belgium, which successfully repulsed German attacks.
The 14th Battalion London Regiment, known as the London Scottish, was part of the Territorial Force, precursor of the Territorial Army. Volunteers were recruited from the London area and were Scottish or of Scottish descent. They were the first territorial infantry battalion to see action in WWI. Despite their smiles, they had sustained severe losses in Belgium.