The Dust of Each Conflict

The Imperial War Museum, Lambeth North, London., is the repository of collections that were first gathered during the Great War. (P. Ferguson image, August 2018)

The Imperial War Museum, Lambeth North, London is the repository of collections that were first gathered during the Great War.
(P. Ferguson image, August 2018)

Thread Twelve

The heat wave has relented and for much of the day we venture forward in the downpour. Rain-water bounces off the taut umbrella towards me managing to find those points at the neckline where it can scurry its chill down one’s back. Meanwhile, I attempt to skirt the roaring streams that run along the curbs in search of drains that attempt to gulp the waves as they come towards them. The drains and my improvised two-step are not successful.

Still one ought not to complain, soldiers and civilians endured much worse on active service and on the home front. Finding an overhang I stand beneath hoping there may be an ebb to this tide, but not this tide. I carry on.

The effects of chemical warfare are illustrated at the Imperial War Muaeum with this shrivelled glove having gone through such an attack. Damage to lungs, eyes and skin was horrific. (P. Ferguson image, August 2018)

Evidence of chemical warfare are illustrated at the Imperial War Muaeum with this shrivelled glove having gone through such an attack. Damage to lungs, eyes and skin was horrific.
(P. Ferguson image, August 2018)

Arriving at the Imperial War Museum I seek out a few specific exhibits to snap, and then conduct a reconnaissance of the gift shops anticipating a volume or two to rest amongst others in a tall stack of reading to do. Though centennary titles continue to abound, we are starting to see interest in the immediate aftermath of this conflict that gave birth to the world as we know it today.

A well fired upon Great War sign, “Do Not Stand About Here”. (P. Ferguson image, August 2018)

A well fired upon Great War sign, “Do Not Stand About Here”. Imperial War Museum Collection.
(P. Ferguson image, August 2018)

Treaties, nations, political parties, demobilization, employment, veterans’ welfare, rehabilitation, prosthetics, mental health, families widows, memorialization and more. The Great War may have an end date with the armistice, 11 November 1918, but its after affects will continue…and then there will be another conflict…a Second World War with its own ramifications, its own openings and conclusions, but the dust of each conflict will never truly settle for years to come.

A Great War soldier making his way through the wet and person clinging mud of the trenches. Imperial War Museum trench scene. (P. Ferguson image, August 2018)

A Great War soldier making his way through the wet and person clinging mud of the trenches. Imperial War Museum trench scene.
(P. Ferguson image, August 2018)

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About The Author

pferguson
Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and in Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was further amazed by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Film captivated Paul and with time he became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was entranced when he learned Weir had visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. The film "Gallipoli" alone led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii and Gallipoli. It was, however, when Paul watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", that Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests would be a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, he believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.

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