One Hundred Graves

1st of July 2016 is the 100th anniversary of The Battle of the Somme. Of the 100,000 soldiers who joined the battle that day on that first day, 58,000 became casualties and over 19,000 died. It was the worst day in the history of the British Army and is still the greatest loss in a single day for Britain.The battle ended on 18th November 1916, 12km had been gained with 400,000 British casualties.

15,000 members of the Durham Light Infantry fought on the Somme by the end over half had been wounded, killed or reported missing.
In March this year I visited the battlefields of the Somme in France. One hundred graves is a selection of the huge number of images that I took of the graves of soldiers from that battle.

Men from several generations of my family served in the DLI. As a former soldier myself, I think it is incredibly important that the sacrifice these men made is remembered; that we should never forget the consequences of war. Unfortunately some are already forgetting and the closure of the DLI museum in Durham is going to ensure that future generations have nothing in this country to remember them by.

I run my hand over the letters cut into the limestone
discoloured by the passing seasons,
name fading into history
dissolved by time like the memories
of a young man who fell one hundred years ago
I feel our hands touch over the generations
in this short lived reminder
last remaining memory of this fallen soldier
There is no one left to remember
he was his parents only child
he was too young to have a wife or children
lied his way through recruitment
became a man on the battlefield
ending his bloodline in the mud
I leave a cross of remembrance
signed with my name
because if I had been born one hundred years earlier
it could have been me in this grave