This Article was written by Alfie Mulligan, year 10
War is chaos and can be said to represent the nature of humans. It has consequences, a lot of which aren't worth the gains. From a worldwide view: what was the effect of these losses, and why is it that we still consider Armistice day as a day of remembrance?
Armistice Day refers to when the allied powers in WW1 (U.S.A, Britain and France) signed the international ceasefire with Germany. However, it was a ceasefire that bore not fruit but international grief of senseless loss and a fractured trust between the governments and citizens. It was the case where entire families had endured the brutal loss of loved family and friends, and were suffering economic loss as well.
A Lonely Death and a Packed Grave
It is rather easy to associate war to the wins and losses of a specific side or faction. But it is only the best of us who are actually able to consider those of us who have truly suffered. The soldiers who fought in the war would be subjected to torture after torture. Many of the soldiers in WW1 joined the effort for a sense of adventure, to travel the world and to “fight for their country”. The reality was intense drills and fitness exercises, limited rations, the horror of life in the trenches and even then limited more by un-removable rodents.
Soldiers would be subject to the worst of man's creativity and its most demanding art .... the art of war. While they were fighting, sleeping, training, eating, and dreaming there was an entire squad out there with the intent to find creative ways to kill them. During the First World War there were hundreds of technological advancements that served no purpose other than to kill the soldiers who so loyally died to protect their country. But although this knowledge, the bombings, the raids and limited rations were ruff, the soldiers had each other to share their dismay.
This created an even more painful problem. These soldiers had formed bonds similar to that of a man to his brother, so that made it all the more painful when their friends died. There are many accounts of a soldier's death, they are all contradicting. During the war the government birthed a barrier between the war and the world. They used their worst propaganda to make the war appear a game or a jest. This only made news of death all the more painful. But for the soldiers who were actually out there watching life leave their friends' eyes … there is no way to describe that. Soldiers would die on no man's land or in the trenches. There have been findings of the remains of dead men in several preserved trenches. As of yet there have been a total of 21 preserved bodies found in WW1 trenches. The cause of death appears to be buried alive. There have also been records of bodies being left where they lay after a battle, but more commonly bodies are buried where they died or in graves with other such fallen soldiers.
A Wall That Fell on a Nation
After the wall that divided the world from the war was broken it resulted in a despair and rage that cannot truly be written or explained. Try to imagine that you have been told that everything is fine and that the war is going swimmingly with the enemy barely hanging by a thread. Then to realise that that was all one big illusion that was born to keep sending promising young lifes to match into hell. The use of the government's “propaganda” became transparent. It served 3 main emotions.
The citizens were obviously filled with relief after the war, but they also felt anger towards the government which was accompanied by a great sense of loss. There isn't much about any straight up rebellions or open hostility towards most governments after the war, but it is also very possible that the government put in a pretty penny to cover up such skirmishes. If you go on google and type in 'did citizens rebel after the first world war' then you'll find it is very hard to try and get a straight answer. It is however worth noting that there were some countries that decided to rebel against their government. On this list were Germany, Austria, Hungary (the country where the seeds of war were planted) and the most famous, Russia.
Why We Proudly Wear Poppies
It was after the first world war that poppies began to grow across the battlefield. This was a somewhat poetic event, almost as is the earth was trying to nurse the cuts born of the sinful war; trying to put a blanket over the ground where its children had laid down their lives in a cold bloody game of powers.
Regardless of whether the war was a senseless game or a meaningful event that demanded human kind to grow; the fact remains that brave men gave up everything with the sense that they just wanted to protect the country they lived for.
This kind of sacrifice is the kind that goes unspoken, unplanned and saddest of all, unnoticed. It was a fact that many men were just buried named Tommy because no one could identify their true identity.
We stand proud every remembrance day with the poppy to acknowledge these actions of true devotion, that although go unspoken, do not get forgotten.
“At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
- Laurence Binyon.
May they forever rest in peace