Jamie House

2018 - Ongoing

United Kingdom

11 investigates that on the 3rd September 1917 the inhabitants of Beachley point in this quiet country parish were given 11 days’ notice to vacate their homes in order to allow thousands of Royal Engineers and German Prisoners of War to begin construction.

Through a defence of realm regulations from the government evicted people were displaced and made homeless.

No ships were ever made and the homeowners never retrieved their losses.

I have been Photographing the otherworldly Beachley site near the border of Monmouthshire for several years now. It is located on a peninsula at the confluence of the rivers Wye and Severn, where the Severn Bridge ends and the smaller secondary bridge for the River Wye begins, both bridges carrying the M48 motorway between England and Wales.

Re-visiting the site over time I find objects that form clues to the past and the present memories and stories. I Explore the history of the environment and the architectural remains that are embedded and lost in the ghosts of time in the landscape. A dual narrative runs through the series one of environmental erosion and the ruins of the homes of the displaced that have a layering; showing different moments of time lying like sedimentary strata on top of each other.

I aim to highlight aspects of displacement and belonging especially in relation to the inhabitant’s environment and lost homes.

The site is filled with a sense of loss and absence the military presence is constantly there. Imposing MOD signs warn the visitor to keep out. The sense of militarisation, reveals how war is embedded in this archetypal English landscape.

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  • Tree planted by residents before eviction.

  • Former POW camp

  • POW Graves Beachley

  • Remains of evicted house

  • Pill box

  • Bank erosion river severn

  • Crab apple tree in former garden

  • Thousands of POW prisoners shaped stones to build with.

  • Severn princess Ferry

  • Beachley beach.