Previously unseen images of soldiers on the front line during the First World War are set to be brought to life in a BBC documentary tonight.

The film, set to be screened on BBC One Northern Ireland at 9pm, tells the story of Lance Corporal George Hackney who captured scenes from locations on the Western Front where unofficial photography was reportedly illegal.

The one-hour film, based on the Belfast man’s diary entries, will show soldiers crossing the sea to war – and relaxing with friends and comrades – contrasting with life in the trenches.

The Man Who Shot The Great War is also scheduled to be broadcast on BBC iPlayer.

Amanda Moreno, of the Museums of The Royal Irish Regiment, said. ‘As a collection of photographs of the First World War, they are totally exceptional.

‘In terms of what they tell us about the First World War… I’ve never seen anything like them before. I don’t suppose I ever will again.’

Producer Dermot Lavery, of programme maker DoubleBand Films, said: ‘The full philosophical implications of George Hackney’s remarkable journey from the Battle of the Somme, to the end of his life, only revealed themselves as we prepared to make this documentary.

‘He was, in fact, just a simple modest Belfast man – but a man whose message still rings true even today. In a way, all we had to do was not let him down.’

Hackney donated his collection to the Ulster Museum before his death in 1977.

For more, visit the BBC website.