Although the Great War is now more than 100 years ago, sometimes signs of the conflict can be observed in unexpected ways.

In Arras, on the Rue due Temple, stands a house which is not particularly different from others. However, on closer inspection there can be seen some graffiti which reads '1st DCLI' and 'Hair Cutting Salon'.

The brickwork on this house, on close examination, is very interesting. It provides evidence of soldiers having been occupied, or at least visited, by soldiers of the British Army during the Great War, with other markings dating from the Second World War. 

Examples of the First World War graffiti are numerous, but one of the clearest examples is seen below: 

We can see 'GE Mustill' with a date of 23 August 1918 and a unit '323 S Battery'.

Using The Western Front Association's Pension Record Cards we can find a little more about Mustill.

George Mustill was number 167250 in the Royal Garrison Artillery and came from Leicester. his widow, Rose received a small pension after the death of her husband, but the significant detail here is that his date of death was just over a week after he wrote his name in the house brick. We won't know if the 'hair dressing salon' was in use when he was there, but it's a poignant reminder of the activity in this street over 100 years ago.

George is now commemorated on the Vis en Artois memorial