Poppies at Lochnager Crater
It's been a while since I posted, but with today being Remembrance Sunday, I thought I'd share some shots I took earlier this year around Ypres and the Somme. I was always involved with Remembrance Parades as a child, through Scouts and Cadets; I can remember the cold mornings playing the bugle at a local village service, or on parade in the public gardens at home in Braintree as a young boy. I always felt very proud to be actively involved in the act of remembrance, though no one in my family has served since the last world war. My grandad was in the fleet air arm, but like many I'm sure, hasn't really talked to us about the war. As he gets older (he's 92 now) he has started to share more with us, such as when he served in the UK driving round collecting downed aircraft for repair. Of his time abroad, he speak little, but I know he always thinks fondly of those he served with and for.
The following shots are from a trip with a school, serving to educate students who may never have heard 'war stories' from their grandparents. As their history teacher reflected at the time, the statistics of the war mean little to us, the numbers are too much to comprehend. I was particularly impressed with this trip focusing on individuals, telling the current students stories of the boys who served, including some from their own school. It was deeply moving to stand with members of the same school and hear the school report for the boy buried in front of us. Hopefully this empathy will keep those who come to learn of the wars from repeating the mistakes of the past.
Grave and Photograph of Brentwood School Pupil
Mass Graves at Langemark German Cemetary
The Brooding SoldierMemorial at Vancouver Corner, the site of the first gas attack, suffered by the Canadian First Division Joint allied graves at Thiepval, the memorial to the missing. Grave and Rose in Essex Farm dressing station, where 'In Flander Fields' was penned. Memorial Wall at Tyne Cott Cemetary