Monday, April 27, 2009

Where Should We Bury Our War Dead

Almost a year after I reported on this story out of Australia, regarding the discovery of a mass grave of British and Australian soldiers killed at the Battle of Fromelles in France in 1916, the British government has announced that "The first new military cemetery to be created by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission since the end of the Second World War will be built for hundreds of soldiers who died in an unsuccessful attack 92 years ago." Read the story here in the Times Online.

Orginal piece below:

Leave our old soldiers to lie in that rich earth
Sydney Morning Herald
Judith Keene
June 10, 2008

With the excavation of Australian war dead under way in Fromelles, it is timely to recall Rupert Brooke's poem, The Soldier. Probably one of the most recited pieces from World War I, it begins: "If I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England." Although Brooke himself died before ever reaching the battlefield, his patriotic words provided comfort to many of his countrymen facing the bleak future where their loved one had fallen in a foreign land.

In the history of warfare, World War I marked a new era. The scale of death was unprecedented and the immobility of the front meant that the living fought and died among the decomposing bodies of the already dead.

Read the Whole Article

MP`s comment - interesting to note the difference in attitudes between the Commonwealth and the US. Perhaps no other country but the US could afford to repatriate so many of its war dead, but also may be the American sense of being set apart from other nations.

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Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.


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