'the Illustrated London News'



the Siege of Antwerp

Left : Germans in the trenches outside Antwerp
Right : the British Naval Brigade constructing trenches on the perimeter of the fortified zone


'The Illustrated London News' like most other British magazines, devoted a large proportion of its pages to news about Belgium during the early days of the war in general and about the siege and fighting for Antwerp in particular, especially after British forces became directly involved in the defence of the city.

'The Illustrated London News' did however have an ace up its sleeve, as one of the their star war correspondents and sketch artists, veteran H.C. Seppings-Wright was present in the besieged city. Seppings-Wright, a former British naval officer was an old hand at reporting wars and conflicts and at the time was one of the most renowned military illustrators working in Great Britain. When war broke out he was sent to the continent by 'the Illustrated London News'. Working from experience he seemed to have divined that conditions for news correspondents were vastly more agreeable in Belgium than in France and so perhaps more by happenstance than anything else, he was present in Antwerp during most of the siege. He produced many striking eye-witness sketches and drawings of events during the siege, including artillery engagements, assaults on Belgian forts and fighting between German and British forces. From the roof of the hotel where he (and many other high-ranking military and diplomatic staff) were staying, hotel Saint Anthoine, he made illustrations of the final bombardment of the city and of the pontoon bridges across the river. Two of these drawings are on the following page.



a finished drawing made after an on-the-spot sketch by Seppings-Wright




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