Theo HORSE 4.jpg
 The sketchbook is small - 14cm by 10cm. It is described inside as a SKETCHERS' NOTE BOOK, Containing 80 Leaves of Good White Paper.  Handwritten inside is the date Oct 26th 1916.  Theo Barker was killed in action on 13 May 1917.   
 The first page is a list of place names on the Somme, presumably where Theo served between 26 October 1916 and his death at Bullecourt on 13 May 1917.   Ypres, Armentieres, Laventie, Vielle Chapelle, Baileul, Merville, Poperinghe, Hinges, La Gorgue, Sailly, Vermelles, Bully, Souchez, Ecurie, St Aubin, Arras, Bernaville, Gommecourt, Wattan?, Steenvoorde, Nieppe, Fleurbaix, Fauquissart, Grenay    
 The long, long list of battles - and then this. The first sketch is of a cart horse waiting patiently as its load is upended.  In the midst of war, there was comfort and reassurance in observing the mundane life of farm animals. Ogle remarked on it in his journals; Kolling painted a puppy. This was the life they chose to think about, a way perhaps to retain their sanity in a world of madness.
 This could be a self portrait. There are similarities with the portraits of Theo Barker.      
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