World Affairs

The Battle Of The Somme

I’ve just come back from a few days away in the Autumn school break. We have been visiting the First World War Battlefields on the Somme.

Those who served in WW1 are remembered in cemeteries all over Northern France, and in museums and sites in the area.

At Beaumont Hamel, soldiers from Newfoundland are remembered in a preserved site that aims to show something of what it was like in the trenches.

There’s a book in which visitors can record their own feelings. Many of those who have written in the book have come to pay their respects to ancestors who fought in the world wars.

Many of the entries are along the lines of ‘Thank you – you gave your lives so that we could have freedom’

I don’t want to take away from the spirit of service that was shown by so many of our service men and women, I just wanted to write in the book ‘What a waste’

There seemed to be a widespread desire that we learn from the two world wars, but we still pursue what we perceive to be honourable ends by violent means.

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