July 2016 marked 100 years since the battle of the somme. For those who don’t know this was most probably the bloodiest battle fought by the allied forces due to a miss judgement in tactics. The British alone saw casualties of over 60,000 on the first day amounting to a huge 240,000 by the time the battle was over. The French being hit with a huge 200,000 casualties and the Germans 500,000.
In a day and age where violence is getting more prominent, even with British forces withdrawn from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan we see everyday the effects of modern war. But 100 years ago the British public were feeling the effect of war for themselves no matter the background, every family felt the pain and grief of loosing their loved ones. Yet it was a time where the community grew stronger, formed a bond and worked together. Men and boys as young as 16 living in trenches for months or years. Under the constant threat that this may be the day a single lead bullet ends it all for them. For many that day came far too soon, fighting a battle they probably didn’t fully understand. For patriotism, for their country and for the ones they loved.
Then after just over 4 years of hell in central Europe. Peace. Only to be followed 21 years later by a war that would bring the fire and devastation right into our home.
However you put it, however the story is told many brave men and women put their lives on the line, suffered greatly and lost everything. The results shaped the world we have today.
So this November on the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day. Please take a minute to stay silent and cast your thought to those who lost everything, those who fought both on the front line for our freedom and back home to try and keep a form of normality throughout every devastating war over the past 100 years.
“Never was so much owed by so many to so few”
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)
Credit; Header poppy image by munro designs.