Forever Young

 
Today marks the centenary of the commencement of WW1. These images are from my day on the Somme Battlefields, France in May 2013.“I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.We are forlorn like children, and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superficial—I believe we are lost.I lie down on many a station platform; I stand before many a soup kitchen; I squat on many a bench; then at last the landscape becomes disturbing, mysterious, and familiar. It glides past the western windows with its villages, their thatched roofs like caps, pulled over the white-washed, half-timbered houses, its corn-fields, gleaming like mother-of-pearl in the slanting light, its orchards, its barns and old lime trees.The names of the stations begin to take on meaning and my heart trembles. The train stamps and stamps onward. I stand at the window and hold on to the frame. These names mark the boundaries of my youth.”― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

Thiepval – Memorial to the Missing
 

Villers–Bretonneux Australian National Memorial

 


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