Shot at Dawn: John Abigail

John Abigail; A local lad, local to anyone in Norwich It's a longer story than I can write, and a sad tale too. Born in Thorpe Hamlet, they moved to Oak Street shortly before the outbreak of The Great War. John was one of eight children, the family were poor one with...

Vanishing Point: The Somme still flows – Schwaben redoubt

I've been distracted enough not to put fingers to keyboard for the last week or so. Mainly because I had an upcoming trip to France, my first on my own due to some fairly uncontrolled sets of human circumstance and how time plays its stupid games. Travelling isn't an...

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...

The Wilderspins

Suffolk regiment - Thiepval memorial. I just thought it was worth recording this little collection of grief, rolled down through 100 years, a whole family and one friend all commemorated at Thiepval, under the Suffolk Regiment's Panel. Whenever you go to any of the...

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 a hush...

Here are the young men

I've been rescuing these boys from Junk shops for years, those 50p unknowns, the Great Uncles who maybe died and had no children, they become orphaned from their families, so I've ended up with an old biscuit tin full of these lads. Mostly Brits, but a few Aussies and...

Vanishing Points

Landscapes of the Western Front

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 signing away four years,...

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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...

read more
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 flesh out...

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The Great War

The Wilderspins

The Wilderspins

Suffolk regiment - Thiepval memorial. I just thought it was worth recording this little collection of grief, rolled down through 100 years, a whole family and one friend all commemorated at Thiepval, under the Suffolk Regiment's Panel. Whenever you go to any of the...

read more
Cambridge – persistence of memory

Cambridge – persistence of memory

My mum grew up here. Her and my ancestors were here for hundreds of years working as maids and cleaners, labourers, cartmen and brickies, laying the railways, further back pulling the root veg through the surface of the peaty soils to the north or tending beans and...

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Trench Ghosts part 4

Trench Ghosts part 4

Langemark A few trench ghosts I did last week then got distracted and forgot about. One of Langemark and one of the Sugarloaf salient at Fromelles. The Langemark rephoto leaps out straight away. It's also familiar to anyone that's ever visited the German cemetery...

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