A Lewes photographer was chosen to help recreate a series of powerful and poignant images for the Royal British Legion’s 2015 Poppy Appeal.
Tom Reeves, of Edward Reeves Photography, was commissioned by the RBL to make portraits of six modern Armed Forced veterans and serving personnel. The photographs were taken in the same studio, and the same pose, as pictures taken by his grandfather Benjamin Reeves 100 years ago during the First World War.
Tom captured the poignant images using the exact same camera, technique, furniture and hand-painted background as the original process. It was the first time the camera had been used in 65 years.
Within the campaign, the images of modern and past servicemen are juxtaposed to show the connection between past and present, and remind the nation we should be as proud of our servicemen today, as those of WWI.
The images, shown on big bill boards nationwide and in all major newspapers, have generated a lot of interest, and Tom Reeves has appeared on radio and television explaining the project.
Brigitte Lardinois, of the London College of Communication who is leading the research project into this unique archive, said: “This is an excellent example of how this historic archive is still relevant today. The photographs are now on show in the National Media Museum in Bradford.
“Curators of the Imperial War Museum have offered to help put together an exhibition of Reeves pictures showing their World War One images, so we are now preparing a special exhibition to show in the town next year, a century after the year that saw most of the Sussex casualties.
“We are planning to bring the lightboxes back as well as these pictures, at the close of the national campaign.”
A video detailing the Poppy Appeal 2015 can be watching online at www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCpyv-6pFyg.
For more information on the story behind the poppy, visit www.britishlegion.org.uk/community/stories/behind-the-scenes-of-the-poppy-appeal-campaign.
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