Embroider the Truth

Blog by artist/printmaker Dawn Cole

A recent discovery

Amongst Clarice’s archive there are many photographs, obviously taken in France during WW1 but unfortunately with no record as to exactly when and where. Researching these images has been virtually impossible and until very recently I have drawn a blank.

I had initially made  assumptions, and to begin with that was what my first body of work responded to, the assumptions we make based on the information  presented to us. After all an archive is only as good as the information in it and initially I deliberately did little research other than to verify certain things mentioned in the diary.

With reference to the photographs the assumptions I made were that they referred to the hospitals and people Clarice talked about in her diary and were therefore taken between 1915 – 1916. I have been to various archives to research both of these but had turned up no other photographs to verify my assumptions.

That was until very recently. At various intervals over the past few years I have searched the IWM online photo archive, but as I have said it is extremely hard to search for information about a photograph you know hardly anything about and trawling through thousands of images that come up when you search for WW1 hospitals France is a very time consuming and rather soul destroying activity. Having recently typed in my usual words, this time a set of photographs came up that caused quite a shock

clarice large hospital ward

This photograph is one of my favourites from the archive and one of the most intriguing. The building itself is very grand and I had assumed it was a place called ‘The Casino’ in Wimereux, where the hospital Clarice refers to as Rawal Pindi was set up.

This is what I found on the IWM website

no 2 general hospital le havre

© IWM (Q 10561)

A ward in the Casino Lechin, one of the sis Sections of No.2 General hospital, Le Havre.


An almost identical photograph, but not taken on the same day as this one shows bunting strung up. And sadly no date, but the really exciting discovery is that I now know where the hospital was – Le Havre. Now I just have to find out when and how Clarice was posted to Le Havre and visit the IWM to see the photograph myself.

This now gives another place on Clarice’s journey and another stopping off point for Resting Place when it goes to France in 2015

4 comments on “A recent discovery

  1. Alxandre Boucher-Baudard
    June 2, 2014

    Thank you for this photo. It’s beautiful. This is the Marie-Christine Le Havre casino. The photograph was taken in the large living room. In the background is the entrance hall. It was the home of my great grandfather. He saw the same scenes but in 1939-1940.

    <img src="http://img4.hostingpics.net/pics/208187Photo026.

  2. Alxandre Boucher-Baudard
    June 2, 2014
  3. dawncole
    June 2, 2014

    Thank you so much Alexandre.

  4. Pingback: Discovering Casino Marie-Christine, Le Havre | Embroider the Truth

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This entry was posted on March 4, 2014 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , .
Resting Place is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
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All images and content © Dawn Cole 2013
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