The last survivor of the Jarrow March, Con Shiels has died.
The picture above was taken as the march rallied in Hyde Park at the end of the 300 mile walk from Jarrow protesting against unemployment and extreme poverty in 1936. It seems extraordinary to me that one of the faces in the crown could be Con Shiels.
Con Shiels was remembered in the Jarrow and Hebburn gazette…
Tributes to man who kept Jarrow March spirit alive
DOZENS of mourners gathered to pay their last respects to a man who kept the spirit of the Jarrow March alive.
Con Shiels, 96, joined his father on the last leg of the famous 1936 crusade for jobs as it reached London…Read the rest of the article here
The picture of Mr. Shiels used by the Jarrow and Hebburn gazette put me in mind of Roland Barthe’s observation of the nature of the photograph in Camera Lucida:
‘One day, quite some time ago, I happened on a photograph of Napoleon’s youngest brother, Jerome, taken in 1852. And I realised then, with an amazement I have not been able to lessen since “I am looking at eyes that looked at the Emperor” ‘.
What will future generations say of photographs of us? ‘I am looking at eyes that looked at Simon Cowell‘ doesn’t seem to cut it.