Thursday, November 08, 2018


Click on any image for a larger version

As I happened to be in town I thought I'd check out the big soldier in St. Stephen's Green.

It is a mighty work and well worth a visit, or pilgrimage if you prefer, before 30 November when he's due to depart.

This is a war-weary soldier returning from WWI. He is composed of all sorts of scrap metal with a few holes of light coming right through him.

The imagery is endless and powerful. There is a myriad of ways of looking at it. I see him as a victim, even though, unlike my uncle, he survived. But survived as what? Most returnees could not speak of where they had been. The horror was beyond all understanding.

Many returned in bits, with the bits barely held together.

This will give you an idea of the scale of the work.

Full marks to Sabina Purcell for organising the soldier coming to Dublin and being here for the centenary of Armistice Day. Sponsors are listed at the foot of the notice below.

It was pissing rain when I visited yesterday. I hope to go back again another day when it's dry and in different light, not just to take more photos but to repeat this very moving experience.

Click the image for a readable version

Update 8/11/2018

Well, I did get back, so here are some more angles.


Padraig Yeates said...

Thanks Pól

Magnificent pics of a magnificent creation. It's a pity it isn't staying but I suppose it would seen be covered in rust, which might be appropriate as respiratory illness and trench foot were so prevalent in the trenches.

Póló said...

Thanks Pádraig. There is so much symbolism in it.