Disappearing Places

Dedicated to Sgt Arthur Douglas Smith 1596824

 Killed on 14 September 1944 aged 24.

His aircraft Wellington MF730 came down in The Minch, three miles off Rudhna Hunish at 01.10 hours on the 14 September 1944. No 66ASR sent high speed launch 2589 from Stornoway to search. The launch arrived at the site at 09.20, found wreckage at 10.00 and at 11.00 found Smith, whose remains were recovered from the sea with a partly inflated lifejacket. The launch returned to Stornoway and landed Smith at 13.20, from whence the remains were transported home by air for burial.

Quote from Chorley Vol.7, page 316: Wellington MF730 of 20 OTU crashed into North Sea, 3 miles W of Duntulm Castle, Isle of Skye, 22.33 hrs. Also killed and commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial: W/O C.A. Winch – 1377472 Sgt E.H. Pitty – 1520039 Sgt J.C. Berry – 1318968 Sgt F. Dobby – 1874696 Sgt P. Crozier – 1596731

Over the past 72 years there have been countless books written and films made that recount the period in our history from 1939 – 1945. Each has their own storyline offering us the opportunity to engage in their content and leaving us with a sense of connectedness. We find we can immerse ourselves as armchair heroes in the bloodiest of conflicts attempting to feel and understand the individual contributions alongside the enormity of the land and sea operations.

Disappearing Places is a body of Photographic work exploring and documenting the remains of UK installations, from airfields to coastal defences from the quarry where the National Art collection was stored to the buildings that scientist worked whilst developing the atom bomb. All places that were often hastily constructed to service an essential need at the time. This body of works aims to help us better appreciate the extent that a countries people sacrificed to defend against the bloodiest of conflicts in human history. Some of these sites may be familiar, others kept secret for many years, recently to be discovered or made accessible, with many more now recycled or completely disappeared and replaced by alternative uses.