Posts Tagged ‘Wars and Conflicts’

I don’t wear a poppy on Remembrance Sunday

November 10, 2013


A year ago, I accompanied my late father in commemorating Remembrance Sunday. He served for six years in the Second World War, including in the jungles of Burma.

Remembrance Sunday was created to remember the dreadful slaughter of young men in the First World War. I first joined in as a child, and this memory remains as touching as ever. We regretted war. We did not celebrate it.

My father always told me “no more war.” I think he had a right to be listened to.

I have respect and sympathy for soldiers who continue to die in wars. But I do regret that Britain continues to fight war after war, for purposes which are not entirely clear.

Remembrance Sunday has been turned into a celebration of today’s warfaring. My father was right, and this is wrong.

For that reason I do not wear a poppy.


October 28, 2013

On Monday morning, 25 September 1915, 10,000 British soldiers at Loos set out to attack German lines. At 100 metres, German machine guns opened up and they fell “like wheat before scythes.” 8,000 were killed, wounded or missing.

When the stragglers turned back at the wire in front of the German trenches, the German soldiers refused their officers’ commands to shoot them in the back “out of sympathy, consternation and disgust.”

The present British Prime Minister, whose name I don’t remember, has called on his fellow-countrymen to celebrate the British spirit of 1914 in the same way as they did the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee last year.

We need a German historian, Adam Schild, to remind us what we who are a little older than the callow youth heading the government have long known – that World War One was above all a senseless sacrifice of young lives – hopelessly wrong strategies and enormous cruelty by generals towards their own men – on all sides.

It’s in German, but just know it’s out there … Der Grosse Krieg – the Great War – by Adam Schild. Review

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