French photographers seek N.L. WWI connections for project
A couple of photographers from France are looking for people with a connection to WW I soldiers from Newfoundland and Labrador who fought in their country, to put together a book of photos and stories.
Mathieu Drouet first got the idea when he started looking into the history behind a caribou statue in his home community of Monchy-le-Preux.
Eric Ecolan said when Drouet learned about the history of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and the role it played in the war, he wanted to find out more.
In France, we used to talk about the French sacrifice, but not enough, I think, of the Newfoundland sacrifice.- Eric Ecolan
Ecolan said he came to the province looking for people 18-35 years old who are descendants of Newfoundlanders who fought in France.
"The Newfoundland soldiers, they saved the village … so after talking with people and some research, he [Drouet] understood Newfoundland people — soldiers — a young generation was sent to France to fight against the enemy and to save the village," said Ecolan.
"As you know, there are two very famous battles in France, Monchy-le-Preux and Beaumont Hamel, and Mathieu wanted to know why such a young generation was sent in France, and the consequence as well."
He said they wanted to find out about the impact of the battles on the young descendants of people who fought in France.
"In France, we used to talk about the French sacrifice, but not enough, I think, of the Newfoundland sacrifice," said Ecolan.
Ecolan and Drouet have already gathered their first testimonials, and plan to come back to the province in November, as well as next summer, to continue gathering photos and information.