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The Insanity of World War I

The Nieuport Gathering

Ivan Adriaenssens

In the trenches of WWI, three soldiers meet: the Belgian Raoul, the Frenchman Jean-Marie and the Englishman (and writer) Thomas. They have just countered the first wave of attacks from the Germans at the Yser front. On November 1, 1914, they spend the day together and agree to meet again in exactly 10 years’ time.

To tell the story of these three historic characters, author Ivan Petrus Adriaenssens presents a fourth person: the British George. He bumps into Thomas later, is given the war novel he has written and is invited to the gathering in 1924. George loses the manuscript, but is the only one of the four to survive the war. He feels guilty, even after sixty years, and goes to the spot every ten years from 1924 onwards.

A demonstration of skill
De Standaard

Adriaenssens brings the insanity of World War I to life: the battlefields pocked with craters, the villages and towns shot to smithereens, the harrowing conditions in the trenches and the absurd orders of authorities, who had not the faintest idea what they were doing. The powerful story is told with muted shades and concise text. Adriaenssens based his drawings on photographs from the time, which results in accurately portrayed scenes of the front and the ruined Nieuport.

Compulsory literature for history at school
De Poort