Hill '62 Sanctuary Wood
This site was named Sanctuary Wood in the early months of the war due to its extreme quietness.
This name did not remain appropriate as it soon became under attack by the Germans in June 1916, which was quickly regained by a british counter-attack.
Sanctuary Wood remains mostly as it was left in 1918; scarred trees, barbed wire defences and trenches untouched since the Armistice.
All for King and country
‘Being in the trenches gave you great perspective of what life would have been like. The sense of claustrophobia was really apparent and it made you realise how close both sides would have been when on the battlefield.’
What kind of life is that?
‘What resonated for me, was the anger that boiled within me. Visiting the trenches and seeing how small and claustrophobic they were, how they were essentially holes in the ground. Imagining spending every day in those small spaces, with a rotten uniform on my back, rat at my feet and people all around me whilst fearing for my life made me sick. I could not comprehend how humans separated into two different armies were made to dig trenches within miles of each other in preparation to kill when in reality, they were digging their own graves.’
How can one live in the world today?
‘It is easy to forget how much the world shapes who I am and, no matter how much one tries to resist it, the reign of terror and the fear of the other lives in me.’