Thursday, November 11, 2010

Over the top

Today marks the 92nd anniversary of the Armistice, the end of the misnamed Great War (World War I is the better term). If you have been following my blog for years, you know that this subject is very dear to my heart, and will always get special attention. Links to previous posts:
In Flanders' Fields [picture/poem/history]
What passing bells... [video]
Returning to the trenches [painting]
Lest we forget [picture]
In Flanders' Fields [poster]
La guerre (the war) [painting]
Remembrance [picture]
For this year, I have selected a painting by British artist John Nash (1893-1977). He may not have been the greatest of talents, but few works depict the senseless sacrifice of the trench warfare so clearly as his Over the top. This scene depicts the attack during which his battalion left their trenches in an attempt to gain maybe a kilometer advantage. Of the eighty men, sixty-eight were killed or wounded during the first few minutes. Nash was one of the twelve spared by the shellfire and painted this picture three months later as a testimony to the enormity of the suffering of this war. More on Nash in the wikipedia article linked to below.