Great War Portraits

Albert 'Smiler' Marshall - Essex Yeomanry and Machine Gun Corps
Bill Partridge - 7th Middlesex Regt wounded 1st July 1916 on the Somme
Jasper Hankinson - 2/14th London Scottish Regt - served on four battle fronts
Bill Jarvis - 2/19th London Regt - Served on several battle fronts
Stanley Clayton - Royal Engineers served on the Western Front
James Lovell M.M. - Royal Berkshire Regt. Decorated for bravery in the field
Alf Razzell - 8th Royal Fusiliers & wife Winnie, they met in Watford 1916
Charles Thompson - 2nd Honourable Artillery Company served Western Front & Italy
Charles Watson - Royal Flying Corps, Gunner Observer. Shot down 1918
Henry Allingham - Royal Naval Air Service, witnessed The Battle Jutland 1916
Henry 'Harry'Patch - 7th Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry wounded Sept 1917
Albert 'Smiler' Marshall - Essex Yeomanry and Machine Gun Corps
Bill Partridge - 7th Middlesex Regt wounded 1st July 1916 on the Somme
Jasper Hankinson - 2/14th London Scottish Regt - served on four battle fronts
Bill Jarvis - 2/19th London Regt - Served on several battle fronts
Stanley Clayton - Royal Engineers served on the Western Front
James Lovell M.M. - Royal Berkshire Regt. Decorated for bravery in the field
Alf Razzell - 8th Royal Fusiliers & wife Winnie, they met in Watford 1916
Charles Thompson - 2nd Honourable Artillery Company served Western Front & Italy
Charles Watson - Royal Flying Corps, Gunner Observer. Shot down 1918
Henry Allingham - Royal Naval Air Service, witnessed The Battle Jutland 1916
Henry 'Harry'Patch - 7th Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry wounded Sept 1917

Great War Portraits started in 1984 when I travelled with twenty Great War veterans to the battlefields of France and Belgium, the old Western Front. During the week long trip I photographed them, listened to their stories and shared a beer or two. On returning home I visited some of them in their homes, taking photographs of them surrounded by their homely effects.

Over the next twenty years I managed to meet and photograph other veterans, many over 100 years old. On the death of Harry Patch, the last British Infantryman who had served in the trenches, I went to his funeral in Wells, Somerset. The final photograph in my book Great War Portraits is of Harry's coffin being carried into Wells Cathedral. A fitting conclusion to this photographic project.

All images ©Keith Collman - All Rights Reserved

My book, Great War Portraits, is available to buy now

“I am hugely impressed. It’s a brilliant book, quite unlike anything else I have seen.”
Dr. Richard S Grayson