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Sickened by the coverage of the ‘glorious dead’ recently. Came across this in the library this afternoon with the kids…

“Let him who thinks War is a glorious, golden thing, who loves to roll forth stirring words of exhortation, invoking Honour and Praise and Valour and Love of Country … let him but look at a little pile of sodden grey rags that cover half a skull and a shin-bone and what might have been its ribs, or at this skeleton lying on its side, resting half crouching as it fell, perfect but that it is headless, and with the tattered clothing still draped round it; and let him realise how grand and glorious a thing it is to have distilled all Youth and Joy and Life into a foetid heap of hideous putrescence! Who is there who has known and seen who can say that Victory is worth the death of even one of these?”

Roland Leighton serving on the Western Front, to his Sweetheart, Vera Brittain. (Roland Leighton was killed in action in December 1915).