image: a column of British troops marching along a straight, tree lined road, that stretches far on to the horizon. The
three soldiers in the front appear to represent the three ages of man, from the youth on the left, to the older soldier on the right. Each
of their faces shows the strains of battle.
Extracts of letters from Department of Documents PP/MCR/333.
In a letter from the artist to his parents dated, 31 July 1917, he writes - "We were not sorry to march back here yesterday morning, to
our old barn in the 'windmill-hopfield' place. We have had much rain. It is interesting, soothing, marching away from the
line......Starting from the real battlefield area with its dismal wastes of shell holes, & the devastated woods of torn tree stumps, &
debris of all kinds, the first welcome sign is the green foliage on unharmed trees, & hedges. Houses are still roofless, & smashed, but as
we march along, even buildings are less knocked about. Then we pass a notice 'No civilians allowed past this point' and we know we are
definitely out of the 'soldiers only' area. Soon we come to villages with many inhabitants & normal life going on, & the land carefully
cultivated on all hands. We are still liable to long-distance shells, poison-gas & aeroplane bombs, & there is always the distant rumble,
but by contrast one feels in a delightful place...."