fallen in the cause of the free

This project commenced in mid 2015 to commemorate the service of those that fought in World War II and is still ongoing.

Suffolk was a strategically important location for the RAF & USAF for the battle against Nazi Germany in WWII. There were many airfields created each being home to hundreds (if not thousands) of servicemen, without whose efforts the outcome of the war may have been different.

This project is a legacy to the efforts of these service personnel, and how their once important bases are being lost back into the landscape. Shooting started at the former RAF Debach on the 70th anniversary of VE day and is ongoing.

I was delighted to have one of the images (493rd Bomb Group) from this series shortlisted in the UKs Royal Photographic Society's Internation Print Exhibition #158

To document this project I am using large format film.

The project title comes from the Laurence Binyon poem "For the Fallen" - most people are familiar with the fourth verse, less so with the rest of the piece:

 

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

493rd Bomb Group
242 Squadron RAF
490th Bomb Group
95th Bombardment Group
357th Fighter Group
390th Bomb Group
1788th Ordnance Supply & Maintenance