What have these eyes seen?
Remembrance Day 2020
In a letter written on the last day of 1917 Wilfred Owen wrote to his mother 'of the very strange look' that he had noticed on the face of soldiers at Etaples. It was, he said:
An incomprehensible look, which a man will never see in England ....
It was not despair or terror, it was more terrible than terror, for it was a blindfold look, without expression, like a dead rabbit's.
It will never be painted, and no actor will ever seize it. And to to describe it, I think I must go back and be with them.
This is the face of my maternal grandmother's brother Beaumont on leave from the Somme.