trench art


A Brief History of Trench Arttwin towers trench art cross

The Modern Era

After the Great War, war changed and people changed.  Mechanisation of production meant craftsmen became a rarity - things were produced by machines, not people, so people lost the ability to make things by hand. 

In addition, subsequent wars, from World War Two onwards, were wars of movement, meaning soldiers did not spend months attacking and defending the same strip of ground, with time to make their souvenirs.  While there is trench art from WW2, it is much less common, especially the well-made, imaginative items made in the Great War period.

Post-WW2, every conflict has produced souvenirs – there is a carved stone cross in Gloucester Cathedral made in a PoW camp during the Korean War by a padre from the Gloucester Regiment, shell case souvenirs from the Falklands War exist.  On the right is a cross in St Pauls Chapel, a stone’s throw from the World Trade Centre site in New York, made from part of the metal skin of the twin towers. 

Metalworkers in Bosnia continue, to this day, to decorate shell casings left over from the Third Balkan War.