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Sketches From the War to End All Wars

by Staff


Tags: World War I, WWI, soldier, sketchbooks, sketches, watercolors, artist, digitized, libraries, archives, University of Victoria, JM,

During World War I, a British soldier known only by his initials, JM, kept detailed visual journals of his life in the trenches of France and Belgium. The journals are filled with picturesque battlefield watercolors and wartime carnage but can also sport a bitter humor. One image, captioned “A battle in Flanders as pictured by the daily papers,” shows us a well-organized battle. The next, “Not pictured by the daily papers,” gives us a heap of dead bodies against a washed-out, smoky backdrop. The entire sketchbooks have been digitized by the Canadian University of Victoria’s libraries for us to peer through, giving an unprecedented visceral look into a bloody chapter of history.

Brendan Mackie