British History, Culture & Sports, History of Freedom, Heroes, Inventors, Brits at their, English country scene

August 05, 2014

Almost unbearable

A torrent of poppies like a torrent of blood--each poppy represents each British soldier who died in the First World War.

Roger Kuin writes--Another example of what my father used to say: nobody does symbolic ceremony better than the British.

Roger is the editor of The Correspondence of Sir Philip Sidney (Oxford University Press). Sidney fought for the freedom of the Dutch. When he lay dying of gangrene, he gave his water to another wounded soldier, saying your necessity is greater than mine.

How many poppies would we need if all the Brits who died generously and bravely over a thousand years were remembered?

August 04, 2014

The First World War

world war i -cross-shawford.jpg

An hour before sunset, one hundred Shawford and Compton villagers gathered at the Cross on Shawford Down, to remember the First World War. The names of the local men who were killed are inscribed on the Cross. The names of almost a million soldiers who died in the War are inscribed in churches and village greens all over the United Kingdom.

At Shawford, a young boy played his great-grandfather's silver bugle. Those who attended prayed for justice, freedom, and peace.

On August 4th 1014, one hundred years after the First World War began, it's hard to know why such a terrible war was fought.

Of all the causes the most likely was the undemocratic, arrogant, greedy, and despotic leadership of the attackers -- Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire.

They wanted what didn't belong to them. They thought they could get it. At the beginning of the First World War, the German High Command referred to 'the contemptible little British Army'.

Democratic Britain, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, and Canada fought alongside France and the United States of America. As in the Second World War, undemocratic Russia was also an ally.

Thirty-seven million people died.

The war was almost lost in March 1918 when Germans broke through Britain's Fifth Army. The tide began to turn on August 4th 1918, which was a national day of prayer in Britain.

The book We Have A Guardian, published by Covenant, describes that miraculous turnaround and the White Cavalry.

Some people are cynical about what appear to be divine intervention. The Queen is not one of them.

The mystery of evil continues to mystify, but perhaps it is not so mysterious as the mystery of goodness.