What is this slimy dismal hole?”
A dark photograph (of my father's life)
circa 1950

Picture him: khaki leggings and a cap, the uniform they wore wasn't much good, boots slipping about in the mud. They couldn't advance properly and the general twenty miles away. It was left to the lower ranks to do the charging. I think I saw a photo once, the peaked cap, belted short-coat and those leggings tied. The generals went into the battle saying they'd win by quantity not quality. Cannon fodder. How can a rifle compete with a machine gun? He'd been to the Somme and a couple of other battles that were pretty grim as well. Then he was invalided out for his wounds, hospitalised and that was it (I was interested in first aid, saw a film about shrapnel wounds, looked like jam and sago weeping pink).

Dad sat down. Mum had put the tea in front of him, suddenly starting to choke must've worked it clear. Mum whacked him on the back and he brought it up coughing shrapnel onto the tin plate. It was a case of one lot was told to machine gun anything that moved and the others were told to charge. They might just as well have told them to shoot themselves. This theory I have is that the general said we'll win it by numbers. Man's inhumanity to man. I don't think that any who were in that wanted to glorify it. He never said much about it and there's no medals or photos. It's something he wanted to forget and he went back to things he enjoyed. Back to his pigeon loft…take them off in a basket and release them.

The Return
(given by Miss Gaskell and Miss Greg)
Room 3 Large Art Gallery
The Return

The lady with the lamb under her arm
across her shoulders the light
Darkness is what you cannot see
the little goat skipping, ready for another day

A bridge, reflection in water
wild creatures
ewe under the bridge looking
at her lost one

Half light half dark
the sun starting to turn
the lamb she's holding
some darkness in it

Head in the light
easy prey for
golden eagles
massive wing span

Both light and dark
using the wind
as disguise

The lady glowing
the lamb under her arm
We’re going to eat tonight
the little goat skipping, ready for another day