Those three dots mean everything…
Just what happened.
For this is about the War – the Great War. An ironic and bizarre term. It seemed so easy to be dead in World War One; so easy. But I’ve always wondered about the afterwards, the what happens next. What happens after the door closes? What happens when the light goes out? What happens when some stop remembering?
So titled for its consequences, World War One affected the world. But for me, it was not the generalisms, but the individuals and the specifics – seeing the man or woman for who they were not for what they were. Maybe more so, that they lived when so many others died. We commemorate the dead but not the living. In what life does that make sense?
So this is in part my meanderings and research through the lives of the soldiers who did return; when Tommy came home.
For this is about them.
For after tragedy, the world continued to turn. But what happened? What was life like when men and women returned to normal life just wanting to get on with the living and forget the dead? What was their life like when pockmarked and riven they returned to a fragile and difficult society fraught in economic, political and social fissures? And indeed could they forget the four years of conflict when its impact would hold such a large shadow over their own lives for years sometimes decades to come? For some of our Tommies, the war would suffer casualties long after the Armistice had passed.