Robert, Immortalized

Throughout this whole project, with all of Robert’s ups and downs, there was one pair of diary entries that really stuck with me. This was when Robert and the 140th were in Monchaux, France, being trained by the British army (and fed by the British cooks).

May 23rd, 1918:

The food is still very poor. I hope it gets better. Asked Sgt. Haley to put me on K.P. so I could eat more.

May 24th, 1918:

On K.P. today. I got enough to eat.

Something about this moment in time just really resonated with me – Robert had just turned 23 a few weeks earlier, had been married and in the army about three months, was 4,000 miles from home, and was eating bad food but so hungry he needed to get more of it.

I wanted to find a way to commemorate this. Then I thought of Tim Godden, an illustrator in the UK who has created a series of wonderful World War One pieces, most notably the illustrations used in Percy: A Story of 1918. I reached out to Tim and commissioned an illustration for this piece of Robert’s story.

I’m so honored to present Tim’s illustration of Robert, getting his extra portion of terrible Army food:

image

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