The People - - NEWS FEATURES & - By Dan Jarvis MP, ex ma­jor in the Paras

ON Novem­ber 10, 1917, the Third Bat­tle of Ypres was over. It was so ter­ri­ble that it grew to sym­bol­ise the true hor­ror of the First World War and be­came syn­ony­mous with the vil­lage where it ended – Pass­chen­daele.

Many of the young men who fought at Pass­chen­daele enlisted in 1914 in re­sponse to Lord Kitch­ener’s fa­mous re­cruit­ment poster. They were fam­ily and friends and of­ten came from the same towns and vil­lages.

They joined up, trained, fought and of­ten died to­gether. In to­tal 750,000 men from the UK died in the Great War. This scale of loss af­fected ev­ery­one and meant that out of the 16,000 vil­lage com­mu­ni­ties in Eng­land at that time, no more than 32 of them were un­touched by loss.

These later be­came known as the Thank­ful Vil­lages.

In the 100 years since the war’s sav­agery the world has changed in in­nu­mer­able ways.

Many ad­vances that caused this change have made the me­chan­ics of war more ef­fi­cient and bru­tal. But sacrifice and ser­vice re­main a constant.

The act of re­mem­brance is an op­por­tu­nity to be mind­ful of the present. For this rea­son I laid a wreath at the Ceno­taph yes­ter­day and today will be do­ing the same at my lo­cal ceno­taph in Barns­ley.

Com­mem­o­rat­ing, re­mem­ber­ing the past, re­spect­ing the present, and work­ing to­ward a bet­ter and more peace­ful fu­ture.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.