A book of photographs by Keith Collman
I've now read through your book and enjoyed it thoroughly. The candid pictures of these great men and the short stories add an emotional layer throughout. It must have been a pleasure to have met these men and woman over time and to hear their stories. Dates of birth in the 1890s seem like an eternity away to me! Thanks for taking the time to create a record of remembrance that I can pass on to keep their history alive.
I received the book, and it is an incredible read. As it makes clear, the experiences behind the eyes looking out from those pages is simply beyond anything we can comprehend today. The concept for the book was a wonderful idea, and of course every single one of the millions who took part have all now passed away. This book really does preserve their memories in an important way.
I found the book to be particularly interesting in respect to the longivity of these first world war veterans listed in the publication.
The narrative provided of their experiences was both well documented and the pictures were excellent.
I found it to be an emotional read.
I was interested to learn of their post war experiences.
A well produced book which I will reread from time to time.
Have just read your book. It's very impressive. I had not realised how large it is. I was expecting a much smaller book. It is very well produced - the photos are printed well. Quite poignant when you read the vignettes of the Veterans.
I was lucky enough to win this book on a raffle that is held by a group called the Hampstead Pals. They have a regular pilgrimage to the French/Belgium battlefields every year. As a rule I would normally return the book for next years raffle. I have decided to keep this book as I am so captivated by the photos of the men that fought for King and country. Thanks to everyone involved with the production of the book and sharing it with us.
Your book, chronicling these brave men, is a hugely important part of the Remembrance process and will become even more so as time progresses, so thank you for all of your work.
The book arrived yesterday. I am impressed of the portraits of those great men. It is going to be one of my favourite photo books.
So far I have only managed to spend a short amount of time with Keith's album. I like the photographs, they're a bit 'old school', just what I enjoy the most. Two things intrigue me:
1. The age of these veterans. Most of them had passed away older than 100 years...
2. The fact that they may not have many distinctions and medals, but these are meaningful, unlike in Poland where veterans have loads of medals of rather commemorative value.
I admire Keith for all the hard work that he put into this. To show the veterans not only during the parades but also in during their normal daily lives. Somehow - certainly in Poland but probably elsewhere - World War II is remembered more than the Ist..."
I just got my book yesterday, precisely a week after receiving an email about the shipment. I can only agree with Wojtek (reviewer - http://pentax.org.pl/viewtopic.php?p=881292).
I have the book for just a while but I already know that it's something that I will be often coming back to.
The author of this book has an unusual skill in that the photographs are so natural and un-posed. It seems as though the lens has penetrated the soul of some of the subjects and it somehow leaves you with an empathy in sensing the pain and terror that those brave heros endured.
Great War Portraits captures the stories of just a few of the many thousands from a generation but it is nonetheless a truly magnificent record. It was given to me by my son as a present and is a book that I will cherish. I salute Keith Collman for his determination in tracking down these brave men and recording their stories.
An Excellent Book
I am hugely impressed. Itâs a brilliant publication, quite unlike anything else I have seen.
Firstly I would like to say how much I love the book.
It is the best and yet worst book I have ever read, this is only because it sometimes upsets me.
I am quite sure that you know about this, but I'm just making sure. But are you aware that Alfred Razzell talks about 'Bill Hubbard' on Roger Waters album 'Amazed to Death'.
I remember as a teenager listening to the album, and feeling for this poor guy talking about Bill on the first track, then on the last track, talking about the wait of the world being lifted off his shoulders as he saw his name on a war memorial.
To read about Bill and to see Alfred I found really moving. Thanks again for an amazing book, and especially for the the lumps in my throat.
I think it is a magnificent tribute to a generation of men we should not forget. It's getting more and more difficult to try and imagine what they really went through.
I am making contact after looking through your Great War Portraits book. I must admit that I found what I saw very emotional and I cannot adequately express in words what the photographs meant to me. You have obviously met many of the veterans I have and being the artist you have captured something very special in the portraits. The use of black and white images seemed totally fitting as well. The memories they brought back were halcyon ones. You have captured Arthur, Smiler, Donald and Robbie Burns to a 't'. You have Stan Clayton's relaxed stance and smile, he seemed to be able to rest standing up like that, was very comfortable. With Alf Razzell you captured the drained feeling he had after telling his Bill Hubbard story. Looking at it my memories of Winnie and her fairy cakes came to mind. I then turned the page and there she was bless her. As for the last three, again you knew them. By the time I got to Harry's funeral shot, I feel embarrassed to tell you the state I was in. To be able to convey emotion like that with images is truly a gift which I wished I processed.
this is one of the greatest books i've had the pleasure to read, especially on the the great ww1 veterans themselfs.
i would recommend the book to anyone who is interested in ww1.
i had the great pleasure of meeting harry patch, our last fighting tommy, and rather fittingly the last photo is of the funeral of harry.
many thanks to keith for making the book as i have learnt alittle bit more of the lives of just afew of the many who served in ww1.
I was lucky enough to be given this wonderful book as a gift recently, and I will be forever grateful. it is a fantastic piece, both as a photography collection and as a historical work, and the honour it pays the people featured in it's pages is doubly important now, given current world events. The photographs are touching, poignant and intimate without being intrusive. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone, and if you are reading this then you must already be on the web site, so what are you waiting for? Go on, treat yourself, you will never regret it.
Very personal and close look at the subject - it's an amazing journey through the troubled life and faces of the Veterans. Incredibly consistent in both approach and execution, these photographs are truly real. I love this book.
A superbly produced book on quality paper with outstanding photographs. A personal tribute by the author to a generation now sadly no longer with us. A must for the bookshelves of anybody with an interest in WW1.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a very emotional and fascinating insight into the lives of these wonderful men. The photography had real intimacy. The book itself is a lovely thing to own, beautifully designed and made. Wonderful.
A quite exceptional publication; very interesting and most thought provoking. A definitive tribute to the lost generation who fought in the Great War. I can not recommend this book highly enough.
This is a book that appeals on several levels. It is beautifully crafted and the production is of an impeccable standard. Careful thought and planning has obviously been applied to its visual and aesthetic feel. It would grace any bookshelf!
On its contents -
The book is a wonderful snapshot of social history (although the word snapshot doesn't do justice to the magnificent photographs).
It appeals in its simplicity and directness. The photographer has spent several decades finding veterans from the Great War, visiting them and recording them (mostly in the humble surroundings of their own homes).
You will smile and you will cry at this (in my opinion) Masterpiece, but most of all you will relate to some or all of these now NOT FORGOTTEN heroes that we all of us had living in our families and on our streets. I purchased copies for each of my young children for them to have when they are older. Thanks to the foresight and dedicated hard work of artists like Keith Collman these everyday extraordinary heroes will live on.
I highly recommend this book to everyone!
Western Front Association Review http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/book-reviews/90-biographies-and-a...
Its a lovely book.....most comments have already been made. Add it to your 'I want for Christmas' list.
The photography in this book is amazing and as a piece of art alone this book stands out from crowd. I also like the the fact that there is a little information about each veteran accompanying the photos. A lot of thought and time has obviously gone into producing this fantastic glimpse into the lives of these amazing men.
The personal interest and admiration for the men in this book is evident throughout. The wonderfully touching photographs, along with the personal stories, pay a fitting tribute to each soldier. A perfect way for this brave generation to be remembered.
A fantastic portrait of a generation to whom we owe so much. Thank-you for producing such a great piece of work.
A wonderful, touching and fascinating tribute to a lost generation and a wonderfully crafted object.
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