Saturday, August 9, 2014
On a winter’s day in 1915 the family of one Capt Charles Sorley – athlete, soldier and poet – received a package. It was his kit bag, sent home by his regiment from the Western Front, where Sorley had been killed, aged 20, at the Battle of Loos. Out of this bag came a life abridged: personal effects, items of uniform and a bundle of papers, from which emerged his now famous sonnet When You See Millions of the Mouthless Dead. A new photographic survey of military kits now illustrates that curious combination. The photographer Thom Atkinson has recorded 13 military kits for his ‘Soldiers Inventories’ series.