My introduction to the Canadian Battlefields of World War I came indirectly through my British grandfather Sapper John Munday who died on the Somme on 8 August 1918. The digital collage ‘Message to Blighty’ shows the Field Service Post Card (left and centre) dated 30 10 17 sent from France by my grandfather, to my mother, Doris Munday. It was received after his death, just a few days before Doris’s fourth birthday in August 1918. The image at the right is of my Grandfather taken at his Attestation in 1915. John Munday is buried at Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Somme France.
In 2005 I first visited the World War I battlefields with author Susan Evans Shaw on a reconnaissance trip for a book project. As I walked in my grandfather’s footsteps in the field where he had been billeted and visited his grave I began to comprehend the tremendous losses sustained by my family and by so many others.
In my work I aim to demonstrate the immense peace and tranquility which I felt visiting these areas of Belgium and France, in contrast to the horrors of life in the trenches and on the battlefields.
My photographs of Canadian World War I battlefields have been exhibited in Ontario and in 2011 were published by Goose Lane Editions in the book Canadians at War: A Guide to the Battlefields of World War I by Susan Evans Shaw.