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What love is
Fig.1. Recently engaged – early summer 1990 – showing off her engagement ring
Fig.2 23 years on from the above in 1990, 20 years on from our marriage in December 1993 – showing off our rings to mark our 20th wedding anniversary
‘Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body.
That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
We have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom has fallen from our branches we find that we were one tree and not two.
(Slightly adapted from Louis de Bernieres, 1994, ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’)
Fig. 3. Just Married – 29th December 1993, Barton-on-the-Heath … and straight onto a pane to go skiing.
How to remember the combatants of the First World War (1914-1918)
How to wake the dead – pinning the past – the lost generation of World War One remembered in the Sussex market town of Lewes
Fig. 1. The War Memorial, Lewes High Street, Lewes
An extraordinary way to impress upon those living today, the terrible price and undoubted anguish and trauma caused by the death of one or more member of a family during World War One.
Steve George took the names of those featured on the Lewes War Memorial from the First World War. His research gave him an address which he pinned on a Google Map.
And where the war dead lived:
The men from Lewes who died in the First World War
Fig. 2. Where the WW1 War Dead lived in Lewes : remembered on the Town’s War Memorial.
Some grabs using Google Maps and Google World:
Fig. 3. Where the WW1 War Dead lived in Lewes : remembered on the Town’s War Memorial. (Satellite view)
- Lots of the pins represent addresses with multiple fatalities
- Approximately a third aren’t represented by individual pins.
Fig. 4. Where the WW1 War Dead lived in Lewes : remembered on the Town’s War Memorial.
One corner of the town. Every 3rd or 4th house marking a soldier missing or known to be dead never to return.
“The more you zoom in “, says Steve, ” the more clusters open out and the more shocking it gets”.
Fig. 5. The War Memorial, Lewes High Street, Lewes
On the War Memorial there are two, sometimes three names from the same family: brothers, husbands, fathers and sons. The loss in some families was higher still.
THE NEXT STEP:
- Other towns, cities, associations and corporations to do something similar.
- Do the same in all nations that suffered losses during the War.
- Feature photographs of those named.
- Link their home to where they fell (or where they lie).
Fig.6 The Tynecot Cemetry near Passchendaele.
Fig 7. International Corner, Belgium. The 75th Anniversary of Passchendaele
Jack Wilson with Lyn Macdonald in 1992, marking the spot near International Corner, north west of Ypres where on 22nd October 1917 Jack burried Dick Piper and Harry Gartenfeld in shallow graves (their bodies were never recovered)
Fig. 8 John Arthur Wilson in 1916. A studio photograph taken in Consett, Co. Durham the week before he was transferred to the ‘suicide squad’ and sent for training on the Vicker’s Machine Gun in Grantham
Jack was from Benfieldside, Shotley Bridge. Those who died from his commmunity are featured in the Church. Where did the Lewes men fall? Where are else are they remembered? Do their relations or ancestors know their story? What do we tell future generations?
Fig. 9. Lyn Macdoland, author of ‘They called it Passchendaele’ at the Tynecot Memorial with veteran
Jack Wilson MM in front of the names of fallen comrades Dick Piper and Harry Gartenfeld June 1992
Fig. 10. The Ypres Salient, Passchendaele : The Western Front autumn 1917
Fig. 11. The dead around Tyne Cot as a result of the October-November push known as Third Ypres, 1917
Fig. 12. What they fought for and where many of them died. A set of concrete German pill-boxes in the mud of Passchendaele, late 1917
Fig. 13. How it ended for tens of thousands in the cratered morass of the Ypres Salient in 1917
Fig. 14. Third Ypres. August – November 1917
Fig. 15. They Called it Passchendale. Vivid narrative from Lyn Macdonald supported by the voices of many veterans in their own words.