Join hands: Poppy day

I am afraid I am heartily sick of poppies. I was in Ypres in the late summer of 2014 and started to write something about what the centenary of the war meant and how it was making me feel. It was the week the commemoration started for real, the end of the phoney war....

Ghosts: Hawthorn Ridge the Somme

I feel like a bit of a slacker, I'm tired, having gallivanted through The Somme for most of three days, I'll leave you with this; a starter for ten. The photo is a ghost of one of the Somme mines that were set of at precisely and critically 7.30 (roughly-ish) in the...

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: Mining the front – Messines 1917

The anniversary of the massive mining attack around Messines 1917 passed at 3.10am on Saturday the seventh of June, ninety-seven years since. This year rather overshadowed by the 70th anniversary of D-Day on the sixth of June and justly so. But this is one of those...

Vanishing Point: Essex Farm, The Eve brothers

I'm fortunate, I get to go to Ypres and the Somme and indeed various other bits of the Western Front fairly often, I do it mostly for my own vicarious pleasure/misery or whatever you find you want to call it. If I face facts it is I suppose a strange thing to want to...

WW1: Trench Ghosts Part 2

Part 2 in a series of an uncertain number of these things. There's no project like an open ended one... St Eloi 1915 St Eloi is just to the South East of Ypres on the Salient, not that far from Hellfire Corner, or Hellfire Roundabout as it is now. There are a number...

Vanishing Points

Landscapes of the Western Front. These were written to accompany the form and process of producing Vanishing Points and some were used to support the exhibition.

Vanishing Point: Mash Valley and Ovillers

Vanishing Point: Mash Valley and Ovillers

The Somme is exceptionally beautiful. For me a landscape which feels like home. It is chalk downland, when you get up onto the solitary heights of the Redan Ridge or the plateau where Thiepval sits it feels so similar to parts to the southern downlands. Below lies the...

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Vanishing Point: Flatiron Copse

Vanishing Point: Flatiron Copse

There are parts of the Somme where you can and do suddenly feel remarkably isolated in the sun, bits around Serre in the tractor tyre marks and up on the swallowing heights of Redan Ridge with the wind and the larks. For me Mametz is one of the most curious of these,...

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Vanishing Points: Tyne Cot

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...

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Vanishing point: Before endeavours fade

Vanishing point: Before endeavours fade

I'd been meaning to go to Holborn and take a photo of this chap for years. This is my grandfathers regimental memorial, he was in the 1st RF (of which I have already posted plenty), I collect these things for some reason I can't fathom. The memorial is a finely...

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Vanishing Point: Thiepval

Vanishing Point: Thiepval

72,191 names. Rising up as it does above the trees on the Thiepval ridge on the Somme, it is by turns a beautiful, vast and horrifying edifice of brick and stone, coloured like blood and bone. A list, a huge frightening and sobering list. The number of names, the...

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Vanishing point: Berlin Sap

Vanishing point: Berlin Sap

It looks like a field, because it is a field, one that slopes gently up to a low ridge, 60 metres at its highest point, best appreciated either from a mile or so back in the open areas behind the old line. It looks like nothing much, close up it is just a slope and...

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Vanishing Point: Essex Farm, The Eve brothers

Vanishing Point: Essex Farm, The Eve brothers

I'm fortunate, I get to go to Ypres and the Somme and indeed various other bits of the Western Front fairly often, I do it mostly for my own vicarious pleasure/misery or whatever you find you want to call it. If I face facts it is I suppose a strange thing to want to...

read more
Vanishing Point: Rosebeke

Vanishing Point: Rosebeke

A strange day. I've been working very loosely on an ongoing project called 'Vanishing Points' for a while. I'm a bit of a fan of VPs, lots of artists are as a way of leading the eye into compositions, focussing the viewers mind. Kubrick for instance is a master of the...

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Vanishing Point: The Ridge

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...

read more
Vanishing Point: The Redoubt

Vanishing Point: The Redoubt

There are areas of the Somme where you can really feel the past; where the landscape whilst modified hasn't been essentially changed. This is one of those places. What remains isn't difficult to spot and is easy to get too a walk down a grass clotted, tyre rutted path...

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Vanishing point: The Leaning Madonna

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...

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Vanishing points: Mining the front – Messines 1917

Vanishing points: Mining the front – Messines 1917

The anniversary of the massive mining attack around Messines 1917 passed at 3.10am on Saturday the seventh of June, ninety-seven years since. This year rather overshadowed by the 70th anniversary of D-Day on the sixth of June and justly so. But this is one of those...

read more

The Great War

More general writing and visual content on the Western Front and the Great War.

Ghosts: Ypres in the Great War

Ghosts: Ypres in the Great War

This is an ongoing series of Ghosts that I tend to do on an as and when I'm in the right areas to do them and can find where they were taken. The difficulty being the extend of the damage to the front and the 100 years mean sometimes it's difficult to place anything...

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Football, Xmas, and WW1 misinformation

Football, Xmas, and WW1 misinformation

This is a photo of Officers and men of 26th Divisional Ammunition Train playing football in Salonika, Greece on Christmas day 1915. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Christmas Truce of 1914 at all, in any way whatsoever, so I'm sticking it on here and saying so...

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WW1 Aerial photos in colour: Water filled shell holes

WW1 Aerial photos in colour: Water filled shell holes

I'm not sure where this is as I found it, it could be almost anywhere on the front at various times, a watery landscape where trenches are merely shell holes joined together, It could be Chateau Wood, it could be near Passchendaele or Hooge or somewhere on the front...

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WW1 Aerial photos in colour: Messines

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...

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WW1: Trench Ghosts Part 2

WW1: Trench Ghosts Part 2

Part 2 in a series of an uncertain number of these things. There's no project like an open ended one... St Eloi 1915 St Eloi is just to the South East of Ypres on the Salient, not that far from Hellfire Corner, or Hellfire Roundabout as it is now. There are a number...

read more
WW1: Aerial Trench Ghosts Part 1

WW1: Aerial Trench Ghosts Part 1

I did one of these to explain something to someone, then tweeted it and it all went a bit nuts, so it makes sense to put some of them together into posts on here rather than having them scattered to the 00000100 corners of the digital world. Schwaben Redoubt Early...

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Colourising: The Great War

Colourising: The Great War

A couple of years ago I did a series of these, mainly individual soldiers from my private collection of postcards, I also did a few of these, now ubiquitously crayoned in, see 'em everywhere type images, so I thought I might as well add my favourites to the website...

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Here are the young men

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...

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Trench Fever

Trench Fever

I thought it was about time I did a bit of quantifying, I've done a something in a previous piece here, which scratches at the back of a story but only tells the penultimate episode of it not the rest, there's other bits clanging and banging about on the internet that...

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Ghosts: Hawthorn Ridge the Somme

Ghosts: Hawthorn Ridge the Somme

I feel like a bit of a slacker, I'm tired, having gallivanted through The Somme for most of three days, I'll leave you with this; a starter for ten. The photo is a ghost of one of the Somme mines that were set of at precisely and critically 7.30 (roughly-ish) in the...

read more