The Indeterminable Agony of a Resit

I cannot believe that it is 3 months since I wrote on the page, unfortunately I have had a bit of trouble and difficulty. My first University assignment failed, I was 3 marks short of passing which in all honesty, could have been a lot worse. I felt extremely deflated, coupled with a bit of a mental breakdown. I took a step back, reflected and then with a new perspective and the determination to succeed decided to try again for the resit. That was submitted yesterday thank heavens and hopefully I will squeeze through this time.

It has been nearly a year since that photo at Pozieres, a photo where I became one with the spirits of nature and the ghosts of history. It is still the greatest photo of the Western front that I have ever taken. I considered whether I should go and put it on canvas, but it doesn’t and would not do it justice. The solemness and the realisation that that was a moment that will be forever etched in my memory and heart. I treasure that particular moment with great reflection and a lot of faith too. I got something from that morning that I will never be able to truly explain. You would probably argue and agree that it is completely insane to suggest you get something from a place of death and suffering. But when you visit certain places for example Thiepval or Tyne Cot or even the fortress of Verdun, your own perceptions and your thoughts of mortality come into being. You go deeper and deeper into your own mind as never before, not by choice but of a inner conviction to justify the reasons of why this suffering and waste was allowed to happen. The ghosts of history step into play and dance within the mist as the sun rises on the Somme. The immersion of your own self is dictated and determined by them. They welcome you, but as you leave, you take a bit of them with you. It is a binding contract that will never be broken. That is Their Legacy.

In the year on from that picture, there has been a lot of agony and joy and accomplishment, tears have been shed and decisions have been made. The world has turned full circle again, people have have passed beyond the limit of human sight. Remembering those people today. I also want to thank everyone that has shown me support and love over the past weeks. It has been an incredibly difficult few weeks but I’m confident that I will go into the new assignment, Mesopotamia and Palestine in a far more better frame of mind.

Also, I send my prayers to all the members of staff in France and Belgium who have had to close their businesses and museums for the foreseeable future as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. In Particular the Somme Association at the Ulster Tower at Thiepval. One of the nicest places to visit on the Somme, and one of the most welcoming cups of tea that I have ever had in a foreign country. I hope that this pandemic passes quickly and that they will open as soon as they possibly can. As all the other places of interest on the Western Front. It is going to be a testing time but i think if we can all pull together, all will be well in time.

And the Earth Abideth Forever

Martin Joseph

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