David Jones: A Fusilier at the Front
A private in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, David Jones did not have the status of ’official war artist’, which makes his drawings of army life all the more fascinating. Here are the eighty-one surviving drawings from Jones’ notebooks, recording life in the training camps of Salisbury Plain, in the front line on the Somme, and in Ireland during the last year of the Great War. The mud, the rats, the devastation, the misery, but also some of the humour of a fusilier’s life in the trenches are recorded in a truly authentic record of military service by a budding arist who enlisted at the age of nineteen. His youthful eye picks out the human qualities from among the wreckage of the first mechanised war, and shows the participants, both soldiers and civilians, adapting to the norms of life in the shattered towns and villages on the Western Front.