Marking Time

Marking Time: Private Memory – Public Memorial

Throughout my childhood, Great Uncle Clifford was a photograph.

He sat within a frame on the mantelpiece. Silent, absent and yet somehow always present. Many years later, I was to inherit six letters describing the last few hours of Clifford’s life as he led his men in an attack across No Man’s Land at night in October 1916.

Finally he had a voice – albeit not his own. His memory had been preserved and delivered by his friends and colleagues from the trenches. Handwritten in pencil, the letters spoke of the man that was, their love of him and the grief that they felt at his loss. Due to the aborted attack, Clifford’s body was never formally recovered from the battlefield.

Unsure quite how or why, and armed only with a camera, I set out to bring him home.

Curiously, I was to discover that he is still here.



Marking Time