Jean Pecher, soldier of the Great War

Jean Pecher (1894 - 1973) was born into a well-to-do family of Antwerp liberals. His great-grandfather Charles had been one of the founders of the Liberal Party in his hometown. Serving in a machine-gun unit in the Belgian army during World War I, Jean corresponded throughout the war with his parents (some 600 documents survive). As a keen amateur photographer he moreover left a remarkable series of some 250 first-hand war images. Whenever possible he sent his film rolls to his family for development. In 1915 he collected and annotated 157 photos in an album which he dedicated to his parents. Of special interest are the photos of his unit in the field in the first weeks of the conflict, of which this gallery offers a selection. The archive and photo collection of Jean Pecher are preserved at Liberas.

Marc Haegeman/Liberas