In the aftermath of the Great War many families made a pilgrimage to the battlefields and cemeteries of France and Belgium, including the family of Rev. A.P. Gower-Rees, a former Deputy Assistant Chaplain-General and an out-spoken supporter of ex-Servicemen frustrated by an increasingly apathetic post-war public.
Strong convictions aside Gower-Rees and his family had a very personal reason for making their journey across the Channel in August 1926. The Reverend’s wife, Sarah Emily Atkinson-Jowett lost her step-brother Lt. James Atkinson-Jowett of the 6th Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry on September 16, 1916.
Their photographic account, which I’m sharing in its entirety, is a fascinating look at two countries in the process of rebuilding while servicing an ever growing battlefield tourism industry. Over a three day period the Gower-Rees family visit the Sunken Road, near the location where “Uncle Jim” was killed in action, as well as half a dozen memorials and cemeteries including Perth (China Wall), Wimereux and Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm).
Accompanying the photos are hand-written captions likely penned by one of the Gower-Rees girls. Ranking high amongst the collection of very interesting photographs has to be the boy and dog-powered Belgian cart parked outside a hotel on the Market Square in Ypres.
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