Armistice Day 2018
I wanted to do something special for Armistice Day as this year is the 100th year since the end of WW1 and the horrors of that war have really touched me. Personally in my family my maternal Grandfather and my Great Uncles served but never spoke of it. My Grandfather died before I was born and through digging around on the internet I managed to find through war records that he was gassed in the trenches and returned home. He was barely 20.
My Mother didn’t know that the gas had effected him physically for a long time and at times he rocked and his eyes would roll back in his head which worried my Mums sister as a very young child so she recalled to me about it one day on a visit to the Imperial War Museum. My Mum, who is a lot younger, never knew as the physical effects had largely subsided by the time she came along, but the fact he never spoke of the war clearly meant the memories hadn’t faded.
In researching for the project I came across this poem. It says it all:
In Flanders Fields, by John McRae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Please donate this Poppy Day if you can, thank you.
Massive thanks to Jamie Barnard for agreeing to be the soldier in my image. I wanted a young actor who could bring emotion to the static image and was very lucky to have worked with him at the Above the Stag Theatre on the play Holding the Man (Directed by Gene David Kirk). Jamies portrayal of the life and love of Timothy Conigrave was exceptional, tender and moving.