About the images
A collection of reflective landscape photographs of the Somme battlefield has gone on display in London.
Taken by Scottish photographer Peter Cattrell in the 1990s, the images capture the former killing fields in France. Some depict the now tranquil countryside, while others feature remnants of the conflict including barbed wire and a bullet.
Cattrell’s interest in the Somme was sparked when he found a photograph of his great uncle, William Wyatt Bagshawe, with three of his companions from the Sheffield ‘Pals’ Battalion. The four had enlisted following Lord Kitchener’s call for volunteers, and had died in the first onslaught of the Somme on 1 July 1916.
Cattrell went to find Bagshawe’s name on the war memorial at Thiepval, Belgium during a visit in 1989. From 1996 onwards, Cattrell returned to the battlefield of the Somme to take photographs.
His images are on show alongside those taken by early war photographer George P Lewis (1875-1926). On loan from the Scottish National Portrait Galleries, the images depict women working in Scotland’s transport and heavy industries during the Great War.
Traces of War: Landscapes of the Western Front is on show at the Fleming Collection in London until 18 October 2014.