Steve Pyke | WWI Veterans | Intro
World War I Veterans
"The war had always gripped me. As a child I met and spoke openly to the old timers who had fought, including my grandfather Arthur Pyke who served as a cabin boy at the naval battle of Jutland in 1916. I realised that by chance of birth had I been born in the late 19th century, then undoubtedly I would have served.
There was one veteran in Leicester where I grew up that I got to know well. Bert Mundy had served in Flanders, he lost an eye and was mustard gassed there. We used to play chess together and he would be continually dabbing his weeping eyes whilst lecturing me on various chess moves.
The series now rests in the permanent collection of The Imperial War Museum in London. It's fitting to view these portraits again 30 years after I made them, and on the 100th anniversary of the Great War."