Re­mem­ber: 100 years on

Aldershot News & Mail - - LETTERS -

NEXT Mon­day marks 100 years since Bri­tain de­clared war on Ger­many.

The na­tion, if not the world as a whole, will pause and re­flect on the scale of the con­flict and the long-last­ing im­pact the First World War has had.

Towns and vil­lages across our area will be hold­ing com­mem­o­ra­tive ser­vices and other events, as com­mu­ni­ties gather to pay their re­spects to war he­roes dead or alive.

We can only hope that by re­mem­ber­ing the ter­ri­ble cir­cum­stances of war, it can pre­vent fur­ther tragedies oc­cur­ring, or put an end to ones al­ready un­der­way.

The death to­tals in cur­rent con­flicts in Gaza, Syria and Ukraine are not yet com­pa­ra­ble to that of the so-called Great War, but an end to the vi­o­lence is nec­es­sary to pre­vent his­tory from re­peat­ing it­self.

The har­row­ing sto­ries and sheer num­ber of ca­su­al­ties ex­pe­ri­enced in the two world wars must surely be a de­ter­rent.

Bear­ing in mind the pop­u­la­tion of this area was much smaller 100 years ago, as recorded in the cen­sus of 1911, it is per­haps star­tling to learn that war me­mo­ri­als in the News & Mail patch con­tain the names of 1,630 peo­ple.

Mul­ti­ply that for ev­ery area in ev­ery na­tion in­volved in the war and it soon be­comes ap­par­ent how the mil­i­tary death toll of al­most 10 mil­lion could be reached.

To mark the cen­te­nary of the start of the First World War, we have put to­gether the first of sev­eral sou­venir sup­ple­ments which will serve as a re­minder to never for­get the fallen, their courage and sac­ri­fice.

With an area so rich in mil­i­tary his­tory, it is not sur­pris­ing that there are sto­ries both per­sonal, tragic and of in­ter­na­tional im­por­tance that we have un­cov­ered for you.

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