Re­mem­brance Sun­day should not be hi­jacked

Hinckley Times - - LETTERS -

HAV­ING read Father Daly’s speech in the Hinck­ley Times, I could not be­lieve the in­sen­si­tiv­ity, po­lit­i­cal mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion and ig­no­rance of the facts it con­tained.

It ap­pears to be to­tally naive (as a great num­ber of the pop­u­la­tion sadly are nowa­days) as to what ac­tu­ally hap­pened in WW1, as op­posed to that por­trayed in films like “Oh What a Lovely War” etc.

It is right in say­ing that Chris­tian­ity should be used to ex­am­ine and crit­i­cise the way we live.

But there is a time and place, and just be­cause his church is not as crowded as it used to be, does not mean to say Father Daly should mis­ap­pro­pri­ate a cen­ten­nial na­tional com­mem­o­ra­tion cer­e­mony to put across his bi­ases and po­lit­i­cal agenda.

His term “brandy swilling cigar smok­ing gen­er­als” par­tic­u­larly, was used purely to de­mean a sec­tion of the mil­i­tary, based on his prej­u­dices.

It is well known, that 11.5% of British sol­diers who took part in WW1 died, but it is not so well known that 17% of all of­fi­cers who took part were also killed, along with 19% of gen­er­als (over 200). Ad­di­tion­ally, of those “Old Eto­ni­ans” who fought, 20% were killed (al­most 1,000 from one school). So con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, the so called up­per classes lost far more than the so called lower classes.

The war was not fu­tile. We had a treaty with Bel­gium and France and they were in­vaded. Not by the rich, or arms man­u­fac­tur­ers etc, but by the Ger­man Army.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Ger­many did of­fer peace terms in 1916, but that would have left nearly all of Bel­gium and a large part of France un­der Ger­man oc­cu­pa­tion.

It has been said the Poppy has been “weaponised this year”. Could that have been some­thing to do with the fact it was the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of the war?

Fi­nally, as some­one who served in his coun­tries armed forces for forty years, On Re­mem­brance Sun­day, I re­mem­ber five of my com­rades who are no longer with us. One who died in the Falk­lands, two who were mur­dered by the IRA and two who gave there lives search­ing for bombs in Afghanistan. Con­trary to what some seem to feel about con­flicts, their loss was not fu­tile, Re­mem­brance Sun­day is the one day of the year when I ex­pect to be able to think about only them and the fam­i­lies they left be­hind. I don’t ex­pect it to be hi­jacked to make po­lit­i­cal/per­sonal points. Chas Greig

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