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First World War 1914-18

I am preparing for a First World War exhibition in the Charles Burrell Centre in September 2018. I will display the artwork over the course of the next year in The Art Studio, Charles Burrell Centre, Thetford, IP24 3LH. I have encouraged some of my students to have a go at capturing something of this sacrificial war that led so many young men to give their lives. The film War Horse is about the only positive film I have seen about such a terrible time of war and fighting involving so many nations.

This art piece I completed in July and was very well researched. It covers the trench story where over 200,000 men lost their lives fighting in muddy fields and trenches. It must have been an awful experience, like an on going nightmare, that you probably doubted you would survive and see your love ones again. This July to November 2018, there will be many 100 year anniversary special events culminating in the Remembrance Day marches and events remembering in some way The Great War that involved so many nations.

Many young men served in the army, some enlisting before the age of 18. There was pressure to enlist, you wanted to please your family, you did not want to be associated with ‘cowardice’ and there was of course the romanticism of being in uniform, going to serve your King and country. The poems of Wilfred Owen who served as an officer, are very powerful and capture the mood, despair and horror of the World War One.

The forlorn trudge in the muddy, shell ravaged landscape, must have been a horrible time of reflection where on the one hand you were grateful to have survived and yet on the other you thought of all those with you earlier who had died or were in a field hospital, bloody and in agony. If you would like to view the gallery at The Art Studio, then do visit between 10-8pm, Monday to Thursday or contact Kevin to arrange a specific time on a Friday/Saturday.

World War I (often abbreviated as WWI or WW1), also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as the “war to end all wars“, more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history. An estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a direct result of the war, while it is also considered a contributory factor in a number of genocides and the 1918 influenza epidemic, which caused between 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. Military losses were exacerbated by new technological and industrial developments and the tactical stalemate caused by gruelling trench warfare. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history and precipitated major political changes, including the Revolutions of 1917–1923, in many of the nations involved. Unresolved rivalries at the end of the conflict contributed to the start of the Second World War about twenty years later.