Dead bodies on barbed wire: illustrating the poem 'Trench idyll', in a book of poems by Richard Aldington

Place Europe: France
Accession Number ART20002.006
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 18.8 x 12.4 cm; image: 5 x 7.5 cm
Object type Print
Physical description hand-coloured woodcut on paper; edition: 37/200
Maker Nash, Paul
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made 1919
Conflict Period 1910-1919
First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Hand-coloured woodcut illustrating the poem 'Trench idyll', the sixth illustration in a book of poems by British poet and novelist Richard Aldington (1892-1926), published by Beaumont Press, London, 1919. This illustration is on p. 22. The image depicts three dead bodies hung on barbed wire. The poem describes two men in a trench having a conversation about the pleasures of London, then one of them talks of removing the dead bodies from the barbed wire and says how disturbed he was when they disintegrated at being touched: 'The worst of all was/ They fell to pieces at a touch/ Thank God we couldn't see their faces;/ They had gas helmets on...'. The work is taken from one of a series of black-and-white sketches that Nash inscribed with colour notes. These sketches are held in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. There are copies of this book without the hand-colouring at the Minories, Colchester and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. 'Images of war' was Aldington's second volume of poetry.