Tip: Click on the polaroid to view the photography full size

Lindsey Oliver

Human

Dear Unknown Soldier,

I wonder if before you left if you had positive exciting feelings about the war… You know, that amazingly incredible feeling that overcomes you after you make a huge life decision and you feel empowered just thinking about it. What was the final straw to make you sign up? Was it thinking of your loved ones? Was it wanting to be a hero? Or was it the many posters that just turned up overnight all over your city? These posters telling you that if you joined the war, you’d be happy and satisfied. The posters that promised you glory and victory if you joined up, right NOW! The poster that asked you what your friends would think of you if you didn’t sign up to fight. I wonder if you thought that you would join up, win the war, and be home before Christmas?

After all the excitement of leaving home and leaving your country with your fellow newly recruited soldiers had died down, when did reality kick in? Was it when you had to live in the trenches with the cold weather, rats and diseases? Was it after having to kill human beings every single day just to survive? How did you stay so strong and continue fighting day after day? Was it your friends who were stood next to you fighting with you? Was it thinking of the many people who loved you back at home? Was it the unfailing work efforts of the postal service bringing you kind words from home?

Whatever it was, I want you to know that I am forever grateful to you.

It was on this very day, 100 years ago, that Great Britain joined the Great War. Today I am celebrating you, Unknown Solider. You. The stranger that I never knew who fought till the very end.

You were not the Unknown Soldier to your wife, your children, your parents, your friends, your loved ones.

You were known by someone. You were loved by someone. You are never forgotten by anyone.