Fields of Battle-Lands of Peace 14-18 by Michael St Maur Sheil

These haunting images reveal the battlefields of World War One as they look today - one hundred years after the fighting broke out.

The powerful and atmospheric shots were taken by photographer, Michael St Maur Sheil, who spent seven years on the project.

The collection, called Fields of Battle-Lands of Peace 14-18, form an open-air exhibition featuring 60 freestanding photographs, each measuring 1.2 metres (4ft) by 1.8 metres (5ft 10in).

The exhibition recently moved to London's St James's Park and will run there until Armistice Day.

Among the striking photographs is an image of Beaumont Hamel on the Somme where the Newfoundland Regiment were decimated by German machine guns - the trenches and shell holes are still clearly visible from the air.

The collection, sponsored by The Royal British Legion, also shows the football which the London Irish Rifles kicked across No Mans Land on Sept 25th, 1915 as they attacked the German positions in the town of Loos.

There is also a picture of unexploded shells uncovered by ploughing near Munich Trench Cemetery - awaiting collection by the Bomb Squad - and a World War I observation post near Hebuterne, south of Dunkirk.

Another image shows the Champagne Battlefield burial site memorial left intact on the Western Front with a soldier's equipment left on the grave, along with a plaque placed there by his father in 1919.

Mike, from Ireland, wanted to show how even now, a century after the war started, the landscapes are still scarred.

He said: 'This collection represents a legacy which I hope will create a gateway to the battlefields themselves.

'I want to encourage people to visit these historic landscapes during the centennial period and create an awareness and understanding of the events and historical implications of the First World War.'


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