As my regular readers will know, I am working on a photography project as part of the WW1 centenary commemorations. The aim is to photograph sites associated with the conflict at around the time of their centenary, and then to use the images in exhibitions, presentations and workshops as a way of furthering debate and understanding about the war and about remembrance.
Last weekend, I was fortunate to be able to attend the commemorative ceremonies in France for the first two casualties of the western front. On the morning of 2 August 1914, before war had even been declared between France and Germany, a skirmish broke out at the town of Joncherey down near the Swiss border. Cpl Peugeot of the French army and Lt Mayer of the German army were both killed, and their bodies lay side-by-side in a village barn overnight, the first casualties of the millions to follow over more than four years on the western front.
I took this picture at dusk on 2 August 2014, one hundred years on. And as I looked up the hill past the point where the skirmish took place, I thought about those two men: just ordinary young men who had seen the sunrise 100 years ago, little knowing they were not to see the dusk.