WHO COULD FOR­GET?

DE­SPITE THE SAC­RI­FICE OF LIVES AND LIMBS, THE WAR TO END ALL WARS FAILED TO DO THAT, AND WE STILL PAY THE PRICE

Warwick Daily News - - WEEKEND - ON A LIGHTER NOTE WORDS: GREG BRAY

Folks, just in case any of you for­got, to­mor­row is Re­mem­brance Day. At 11am we’ll re­flect on the sac­ri­fice of those who died in The Great War, 1914–18.

Well, it was ini­tially called The Great War, then the War to End All Wars and fi­nally World War I some time af­ter the next big con­flict lurched over the hori­zon with the dreaded in­evitabil­ity of a dodgy curry mak­ing its un­wel­come reap­pear­ance.

World War I in­tro­duced mod­ern weapons to war­fare which had a dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect on the old ways of fight­ing. As a boy, I re­call be­ing shocked at watch­ing the high-speed, black and white footage of troops ‘go­ing over the top’.

It was a sim­ple sys­tem. Ba­si­cally, some­one from a long way away would give the or­der and sol­diers would leap from the rel­a­tive safety of their trenches and run full tilt across no-man’s land to­wards the en­emy.

Who­ever thought gal­lop­ing thou­sands of men to­ward a line of ma­chine-gun nests in broad day­light, with­out so much as a blade of grass for cover, was ei­ther a lu­natic or not very likely to join the ‘brave lads’ on their one-way dash into a hail of bul­lets.

Still they weren’t as id­i­otic as the high-rank­ing clowns who, af­ter the twitch­ing, shat­tered bod­ies had been cleared from the bat­tle­field, thought it would be a clever thing to do the same thing again. Over and over again. The tac­tics course at of­fi­cers school must have lasted an en­tire three min­utes. De­ci­sions like this didn’t ex­actly in­spire me to want to join the army, so I joined the Re­serves in­stead.

I want to tell you the rea­son I signed on the dot­ted line was mo­ti­vated by pa­tri­o­tism, but it wasn’t. My selfless act of part-time duty had quite a lot to do with find­ing out re­servists had ac­cess to large amounts of tax-free (i.e. ex­tremely cheap) al­co­hol.

Don’t judge me, oth­ers have signed up for less no­ble rea­sons, pos­si­bly.

Any­way, to­mor­row we’ll re­mem­ber the fallen, but the one thing we won’t need to be re­minded of is how last­ing peace still man­ages to elude us.

Greg Bray blogs at greg­bray­writer.word­press.com. Find him on Face­book: Greg Bray – Writer

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