Vanishing Point: Dartmoor – father and son

Vanishing Point: Dartmoor – father and son

There’s a focus, out there. You’ll see it in most cemeteries on the old front. The famous dead, the men, and boys who achieve some infamy by dint of their bravery, age or circumstances. Sometimes it’s a footballer who scored big in 1912 before...
Vanishing Point: Bernafay Wood

Vanishing Point: Bernafay Wood

After Carnoy the cloud started to drop, a shield of it obliterated the sun. Within twenty minutes the light had almost completely failed, the air filled with prickles of moisture. It took a good hour to lift as the edge of a small front slid in from the South West. It...
Vanishing point: Courcelette

Vanishing point: Courcelette

I’ve been fortunate at times out on the front, walking the levelled trenches, across the flattened shell holes and in the regrown woods. You meet people, some you know via the curious world of social media, shared interests in a shared space eventually made...
Vanishing Point: Carnoy to Montauban

Vanishing Point: Carnoy to Montauban

I’m not far from here. Sitting in a hotel room on a laptop, near a roundabout and Le McDonalds, watching a dubbed film which was bad enough in English in the first place. So I thought I’d start doing something apart from lazy hotel drinking. Carnoy is just...
Lost boys: Sid Northrop

Lost boys: Sid Northrop

I recently rediscovered this. It was something I’d put on Flickr. It is the tale of another family member and his last few days and hours in the Great War. We visited the panel he is remembered on at Tyne Cot a couple of years ago. He was my grandmother Jesse...
Vanishing points: The Bull Ring, Etaples

Vanishing points: The Bull Ring, Etaples

Etaples was one of the main base camps along the coast of Northern France, being a port, a lot of men, thousands of them would have disembarked here. Many more would have embarked. It was known as “The Bullring”, as were most of the base camps, but this...
Vanishing Point: Out of sight

Vanishing Point: Out of sight

Genealogy is an inconsistent science and growing a family tree quickly becomes an obsessive work of semi-fictional detective work. The urge to push further and further backward heading into our peasant laden past, hankering after the occasional sight of a king or...
Vanishing Point – Langemark

Vanishing Point – Langemark

Langemark is I feel one of the most desolate corners of the Western front. As I mentioned in another piece on Vladslo there is something so desperately bleak and sad about German cemeteries. They don’t lack in any of the respectfulness of the loss or the death...
Vanishing Point: Devil’s Wood

Vanishing Point: Devil’s Wood

Oak is a feature of the English psyche, a fabled national wood if there is such a thing. It proliferates throughout our history from warships and traders building an Empire to the familiar furniture and ancient twisting house frames. The royal Oak subverted to shelter...
Vanishing Point: High Wood

Vanishing Point: High Wood

The way to start these things is difficult sometimes so here is a Piece of Mackintosh, not perhaps his best poem, but he can sum up the general situation in the area of High Wood better than I can. He knows what it was like because he was there in 1915 and wounded...
Vanishing Point: Fricourt New

Vanishing Point: Fricourt New

The best and the worst of it all are hidden over a brow. You won’t find the chattering crowds of the nexus points where death draws itself to a peak, this is not Thiepval or the Menin Gate. Nobody talks, no one sniggers, there is no rustle of frite wrapper when...