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Reinterment of British soldiers, Loos, France, March 2014. Photo © Brian Harris

Reinterment of British Soldiers, Loos, France - Brian Harris, 2014

1 February 2015

I have been photographing WWI and WWII Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemeteries since my first visit to Tyne Cot in Belgium on a school trip in 1969. During my time on The Times and The Independent I covered many stories involving veterans visiting the cemeteries, sadly no more. In 2006-7 I photographed the 'Remembered' project for the CWGC culminating in a wonderful book and a series of exhibitions which toured world wide.

In 2014 as part of my personal centenary coverage of the start of WWI I spent several weeks travelling around northern Europe making a series of graphic images in the bleak winter light of February and March photographing the battlefields from the Argonne Forest, St Mihiel salient, Verdun, the Somme and Ypres.

On my last day I photographed as the remains of twenty soldiers were reinterred at Loos British Cemetery. This picture was taken just before the formalities started, the thick mist adding to the sense of sadness that everyone felt that day, a century after these men fell.

Although this was a personal project, financed by myself without a commission I was pleased that Intelligent Life Magazine published my set of photographs across fourteen pages.

Brian Harris started as a photographer in 1969 with the Fox Photos agency before joining The Times in 1975 then moving to The Independent in 1986 where he became chief news photographer. Widely exhibited, he has had one-man shows at the Barbican and at Photofusion, has appeared on several BBC TV arts programmes and been a guest on The Moral Maze on Radio 4. Brian is presently writing '...And then the Prime Minister hit me...', his illustrated auto-biography which will be published later this year.

See more work by Brian Harris

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