“…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…”
from Laurence Binyon’s ‘The Fallen’ (first published in The Times, 21st
One of our favourite photographers and long-time Caught by the River contributor, Brian David Stevens, has a new exhibition opening in Leeds next month called They That Are Left.
Every Remembrance Sunday for 10 years, Brian visited the Cenotaph to make a series of portraits of war veterans who gathered as part of the commemorations which are held across the UK. The fruits of his labour will be exhibited for the first time at the Royal Armouries – the UK’s National Museum of Arms and Armour – in Leeds from November 2014-March 2015, before travelling to The Royal Armouries site in Fort Nelson, Portsmouth.
Brian says: “The passing of time is an important part of the project, it is only a 10-day shoot, but spread over 10 years it becomes something different. Obviously there’s a lot more pressure to get it right in these later years of the project.
“As the years pass the number of veterans from the World War I has dwindled to nothing and the number from World War II is steadily reduced, but their places are taken by other veterans from newer conflicts, who are also included.” Though each of those pictured must have a compelling story to tell, Brian has embraced the concept of the Unknown Soldier. “The viewer is given no information, just a portrait. These faces then are as of unknown soldiers, no cap badges, no ribbons of spooling medals, no insignia for military rank. They are faces only. Each deep-etched with who they are and what they did, that we might look, and think – and thank them.”