Every weekend, thousands of British hobbyists converge in empty fields to dig trenches, erect tents, gas up their tanks, and stage battles from Normandy to North Africa. These are Britain’s Sunday Soldiers. World War II is still very much a part of Britain’s collective consciousness, and the act of reenactment is deeply personal. Many wear uniforms that belonged to their fathers or grandfathers. Others reenact as specific veterans with whom they’ve corresponded. While it is a hobby for most, it’s an all-consuming one; summer weekends are devoted to loading up trailers and trucks with huge amounts of gear and stepping into the past. Most of all, WWII reenactors are looking to commemorate the deadliest war in human history. In keeping with the reenactors’ ethos, these photos were produced with a period twin-lens reflex camera.
Daniella Zalcman is a photojournalist based in London and New York. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated, TIME, and the BBC, among others. Her photographs have been exhibited throughout the U.S. and Europe and are part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She graduated from Columbia University in 2009 with a degree in architecture.