Photographing the Fallen

Ivan Bawtree and War Graves Photography

  • educational room
  • lecture


In Flanders Fields Museum and the School of History and Gateways Partnership, University of Kent, in partnership with the Western Front Association and the St. George’s Memorial Church, present a new series of open seminars on the history of the First World War, free and open to all.


Photographing the Fallen
Ivan Bawtree and War Graves Photography on the Western Front, 1915-1919
Jeremy Gordon-Smith (photographer and descendant of Ivan Bawtree) 

Ivan Bawtree has left behind a vast array of archives that tell the story of his work as a photographer with the Graves Registration Units on the Western Front from 1915 to 1919. He travelled to numerous parts of Northern France and Flanders most notably the Ypres Salient to photograph and record graves of fallen soldiers on behalf of grieving relatives. He was one of only three professional photographers assigned to this task, hired by the newly formed Graves Registration Commission in 1915.Through his pencil and lens we gain detailed insight not just into the work he did and the men he worked with, but also aspects of the military zones, the perils of proximity to the Front Line, the devastation of war, and the birth and early work of the Imperial War Graves Commission. Today, the war cemeteries that Ivan saw spring up across battle-scarred landscapes and provide the most widespread and enduring reminder of the scale of loss and sacrifice of the Great War. 


thursday 7 March 2024
at 7 pm
educational room IFFM (Lakenhallen, Grote Markt, Ieper)