WW1 Aerial photos in colour: Messines

You start to doubt your sanity slightly when you spend an hour colouring in a photo brown that was, erm, brown, well sepia, but I've also tried to pull the detail out a bit as well. This is Messines Just to the South East of Ypres, This was taken on the 2nd of June...

Vanishing Points: Tyne Cot

If and when you visit the Western Front, which a huge and growing number of people do partly because of the centenary and partly because you know, corner of a foreign field and all that family stuff, you are entering a piece of ground that is pretty much at the...

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...

Found photos: The lost boys of Cromer

I go through people's leftovers, their old clothes, the maps of lines on their faces, sit in their seats and eat from their plates; strangers' stuff. They are people I can't know nor ever will in the vast majority of cases, nearly all of them are unreachable; dead,...

Vanishing point: The Leaning Madonna

She's not leaning anymore obviously, originally designed by sculptor Albert Roze and dubbed the 'Golden Virgin' - she stands holding aloft a golden baby Jesus on the very top of the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Brebières in the middle of Albert. In fact she's very shiny...

Vanishing Point: The Ridge

It's quite an apposite moment, the ridge being what it is, a symbol of so much thrashing about in the earth trying to gain a foothold, somewhere that looms large in Canada's psyche and it's nearly Canada Day, a day that symbolises so much about the gradual joining of...

Vanishing Points

Landscapes of the Western Front

Vanishing point: Guillemont, Trones and Jünger’s Lane.

Vanishing point: Guillemont, Trones and Jünger’s Lane.

It suddenly struck me yesterday, what I'm trying to finish the unfinishable. The Great War may have ended in 1918, but it didn't, and so it goes, new layers of images, understanding and history being laid down with every word typed and shutter click. I'd set various...

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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 to the...

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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 Parr's...

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The Great War

Aerial ghosts: Messines updated

Aerial ghosts: Messines updated

I had a very interesting email today from Gil Bossuyt of frontaaltours.com which has prompted this post. Gil has been looking at the image I originally colourised in this piece. It goes thus: "I went searching on trench maps to recognize some road structures, and...

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WW1: Aerial Trench Ghosts Part 3 – Lens

WW1: Aerial Trench Ghosts Part 3 – Lens

Someone asked if I'd done any Loos aerials, I hadn't, it's not an area I'm hugely familiar with, it does tend to get forgotten in between all the noise about the Battle of the Somme and The Ypres Salient. There's plenty of front in between and some of it was very hard...

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Great War: Verdun in postcards

Great War: Verdun in postcards

Fort Vaux - Artillery observation post. A century on from events. These are in fact a post-war set of tourist cards I bought as part of an album at a flea market in France.  These are basically Verdun through a lens from some time after everything had been tidied up....

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