Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys 1917-1918 is the latest in an acclaimed series of centenary photographic exhibitions, created by Michael St Maur Sheil, to document the battlefields of the First World War as they are today.
Newcastle is the third stop on a six city tour of the exhibition.
More than two million American soldiers, or Doughboys as they were known, served in Europe during the war. This exhibition introduces the viewer to the battlefields which, 100 years ago, were places of death and horror, now revealed by the photographer as landscapes of great beauty and tranquility.
Lewis Lukens, Acting U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom said: “I am delighted that this exhibition will visit the great city of Newcastle. Today, the United States and United Kingdom – and millions of our service members – are providing the global leadership that cements our enduring partnership and makes our countries more secure. Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace…marks the sacrifices made by the men and women of America in that conflict which shaped our world in the 20th century.”
Photographer Michael St Maur Sheil said:“The U.S. involvement in the First World War was a hugely significant factor. Today, it is often overlooked, but it was a New World coming to the aid of an Old World, from which many of the young American soldiers – as first generation immigrants – had sought to escape. Their humanitarian effort in supplying and shipping over seven million tons of food to save the peoples of Belgium and northern France from starvation marked the advent of America as a united nation.”
After Newcastle the photographic exhibition moves to Edinburgh Regent’s Road: August 5th – September 3rd, Belfast City Hall: September 9th – 29th and Cardiff Bay: October 5th – 30th
Premier’s Northern Correspondent Ian Britton visited the exhibition and spoke with Louise Rutherford, Virgin Trains East Coast Station Manager Newcastle and Helen Bartlatt, Railway Chaplain for the Railway Mission North East.