You and I have inherited many legacies from
WORLD WAR 1, the "GREAT WAR FOR CIVILISATION", "TRENCH ART" is one such legacy.
Individual souvenirs and trophies of combat usually emerge from any war, but during World War 1 "soldier artwork" became its own art form, due to mass production of items by the vast numbers of the participants of the war.
Items were defined as "trench art" after a WW1 French newspaper competition awarded prizes in a competition for the most creative objects crafted from battlefield debris, by -
"the craftsmen of the trenches" or "artisanat de tranchées"
Found in many forms and sources: the Army, Navy, Submarines, Flying Corps, Auxiliary Services, Chinese Labour Corps., Rest Camps, Engineering Depots, Behind-the-Lines workshops, Prisoners-of-War, Wounded or Disabled Servicemen, Civilian artisans, French & Belgian cottage industries, Field Blacksmiths, and the jewellery trade. Commercial "Souvenir Workshops" also contributed, supplying demand from UK and foreign Stores for military memorabilia whilst in the United States, ammunition surpluses were mass-turned into commemorative items.
Individual and unique pieces were often crafted on a made-to-order basis for combatants to commemorate their war experience, maybe for a loved one or family member....or sometimes commissioned by the family as a memory item for a life sacrificed. Mass produced items were made for visiting battlefield pilgrims or tourists, also many designs fashioned well into the 1920's and the art noveau period. Genuine relics discovered to-day are around 100 years old, and have survived the trauma of previous decades when metals were highly sought-after for munitions or other industrial needs.
This website provides a glimpse into a world of unusual and sometimes emotional memory souvenirs, crafted, from battlefield debris - the "stuff of war" - bullets, shells, shrapnel, mines, naval and zeppelin relics, aircraft debris, brass, copper, wood, bone, beads, leather, bakerlite, stone, clay, resins; in fact, whatever the human soul fashions when called upon by Fate, to face an immediate and uncertain path....
Click the "SITE MAP" link below these images, for all the website pages
"The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime"
Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey (4 August 1914)
"LIGHTS OUT" Symbolic memory date - 4 August 2014
Below: Tower of London - Centenary Poppies - August 2014 (photos by S. Booth)
Remembering the men.......
ARMISTICE DAY, LONDON, ENGLAND. 11.00 a.m. 11th NOVEMBER 2013
(photos by S. Booth at the Western Front Association Service of Remembrance, & Trafalgar Square)
100 years remembering the Horses and Mules (below), in the Field, 1914, (horses carrying shell cases)
and at the Cenotaph, Whitehall, London, 2014.
100 years remembering the Carrier Message Pigeons (below), in the Field
Memory display in Hambleton, Lancashire - August 2014 (below)
trenchartofww1.co.uk is administered by Steven Booth, in England, UK
your comments, questions etc. are welcomed. please email me at: email@example.com