Tag: First World War

Rachel Whiteread and Walter Sickert

October 29, 2017 1 Comment
Rachel Whiteread and Walter Sickert

It might be a sign of increasing age, but these days I prefer the quieter Tate Modern to the glitz and gargantuism of Tate Britain.  Last weekend we went there early to see the retrospective of the sculptor Rachel Whiteread.  Most of the works are shown together in a single undivided room and there weren’t […]

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William Jones, Glynneath, 100 years on

October 8, 2017 0 Comments
William Jones, Glynneath, 100 years on

Almost exactly 100 years ago, at 6:25am on 25 October 1917, a terrible thing was done to a young man from Glynneath named William Jones.  A group of soldiers from the Worcestershire Regiment formed a firing squad and shot him dead as a punishment for deserting his post on the Western Front. William, probably a […]

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Remembering Walter Conway

June 30, 2017 5 Comments
Remembering Walter Conway

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been in and around Tredegar – Tredegar as it is today, but mostly Tredegar as it was in the first part of the twentieth century.  Most people know about the town’s best known resident, Aneurin Bevan, and many know about Bevan’s pre-War experience of the pioneering services run […]

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Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Ezra Pound

November 6, 2016 1 Comment
Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Ezra Pound

It’s exactly a hundred years since John Lane published Ezra Pound’s ‘memoir’ of the French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, who died in action at Neuville-Saint-Vaast on the Western Front on 5 June 1915, aged 23 years. I first came across Gaudier-Brzeska and his work as a student in the early 1970s.  I’d got into the habit […]

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Cymry’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf

August 7, 2014 0 Comments
Cymry’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf

Ydych chi’n chwilio am lyfr dibynadwy a darllenadwy yn Gymraeg sy’n dangos hanes y Rhyfel Mawr mewn geiriau a lluniau, o safbwynt pobl Cymru? Os felly, does dim angen arnoch chwilio ymhellach na Cymry’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf gan Gwyn Jenkins, cyfrol odidog a gyhoeddwyd yr wythnos ddiwethaf gan Y Lolfa. Dyma lyfr hardd (ie, hardd, […]

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National Theatre Wales’s ‘Mametz’: a review

June 26, 2014 0 Comments
National Theatre Wales’s ‘Mametz’: a review

As part of Wales’s commemoration of the First World War, and almost exactly two years ahead of the centenary of the battle, National Theatre Wales has ‘staged’ a version of the fierce struggle for possession of Mametz Wood. This battle was fought over six days in July 1916 between largely Welsh volunteer soldiers and highly […]

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‘Sweet sister death has gone debauched today’: artists and writers in Mametz Wood

April 13, 2014 4 Comments
‘Sweet sister death has gone debauched today’: artists and writers in Mametz Wood

Mametz Wood: three syllables that have lost none of their power to appal, after almost a hundred years. On 7 July 1916 the infantrymen of the 38th or Welsh Division, most of them volunteers and amateur soldiers, were ordered to make a frontal assault on a German-held line in front of a wood, roughly a […]

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The overcoat

February 5, 2014 1 Comment
The overcoat

I was sitting reading in the front room yesterday when a sharp rap on the window made me jump.  A man stood at the door.   Only the sharp features of his face were visible; the rest of his body was protected from the cold wind and rain by a thick shell of industrial yellow.  Behind […]

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London: scene of flight, scene of destruction

August 15, 2013 1 Comment
London: scene of flight, scene of destruction

Fleeing from the noise and heat of the midday traffic we took our sandwiches to a bench in a small public garden off Marylebone High Street.  What we’d chanced upon was the site of the old St Marylebone church, across the road from its 1817 replacement.  Nothing remains of the first three churches (the current […]

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