Were they brothers, husbands, fathers? What was the fate of each of these young men? These are some of the questions posed by a collection of photographs depicting soldiers at rest behind the lines during the First World War pose. Taken by a husband and wife duo, Louis and Antoinette Thuillier, in northern France, these photos were made as souvenirs for soldiers to send home to their families. In the era of the selfie, where an almost compulsive need to document every experience - no matter how banal - exists, these photos take on an even greater resonance. Fleeting moments in the lives of these men, the snapshots would, in so many cases, be the final trace of life.
Words by Annabel Matterson. The Iris Letter July 2016.