from the Somme
The first of July,
1916, began as a beautiful and sunny day.
'Before the blackness
of their burst had thinned or fallen the hand of Time rested on the
half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there
came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up
the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having
done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin
the Battle of the Somme.'
In 2004 Elizabeth Haines
travelled to the Somme with the David Jones Society,
This sketch is
from Mametz while thinking of the lines
This sketch is also from Mametz and the words are taken
from a 13th century Welsh poem which David Jones knew.
'Poni welwch chwi hynt y gwynt a'r glaw?
In translation the passage runs:
'See you not
the rush of the wind and rain?
On the left page
is a sketch of the memorial to the 38th (Welsh) Division,
This sketch is from near the Ulster Tower, memorial to the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division. It stands to the south-west of the Schwaben Redoubt, a triangle of trenches, which the Ulster Division attacked uphill on the first day of the battle. The Ulster Division not only captured it, but held it for some time, also advancing towards Stuff Redoubt.
was given to me by a farmer's wife.
A small number
of copies of this sketchbook have now been printed in a facsimile edition.
There are 56 pages and it is spiral bound.
The book is 150 by 110 mm and printed on quality 170gsm cartridge with board covers.
Each copy is signed by the artist.
The number of
facsimile copies is limited.
Other ways of contact are here.
'In Flanders fields
the poppies blow
Written some 75 miles to the north near Ypres by the Canadian doctor and poet, Lt. Col. John McCrae.
Back to Main Site North Wales Sketchbook