As part of the project, there was a drawing and stitching day held at the Western Heights in the Drop Redoubt. Phil Eyden was there, offering information about the historical background about the location. I was able to attend the morning session, run by Marcia Teusink. We assembled in the area next to the parade ground and Marcia started the workshop with an exercise in perspective drawing. Everyone made beautiful drawings. I was disappointed with what I made
I realised as I was making these drawings that my focus needed to be on what had happened, not what was there. The beauty of the place was overwhelming, but the narrative; that thousands had used this place and that the Western Heights is a kind of silent witness was what I needed to find out more about.
The graffiti left there, the enigmatic corridor spaces, the gathering points serve to remind one of the multitude of users of that place
It was glorious to see the current inhabitants too.
The Western Heights is closed for four months from November because bats use it as a breeding ground
The visit really helped coalesce my ideas and gave me impetus to research the activities around the Western Heights. Subsequently, I’ve focused on Training in the British Army and the battles of Le Cateau and the Somme. I have also looked at the roles of the East Surreys and East Kents in the 18th Division in the war.