“I see by your gravestone you were only 19, when you joined the glorious fallen in 1916..”
This month Lost in a Cup dedicates a series of articles to explore the concept of ‘War’.
It is, by all means, not a new topic but it remains unfortunately a very current one. The uncertainty of global politics, a very controversial President of the United States together with rising tensions with North Korea and an international race in increasing manpower in the different armies does paint a potentially alarming scenario which none of us dare to imagine.
Song extracts from Eric Bogle ‘No Man’s Land’ (1976). Full list of songs connected to this month’s theme can be found on the dedicated Spotify playlist ‘Lost in a Cup of War’.
The culture of fighting each other over power, control and resources is not new and from ancient Greek mythological anecdotes of ‘the battle of Troy’ to the recent war in Afghanistan and Iraq some elements are transnational and trans-historical.
“And I can’t help but wonder now Willie McBride
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause?
Did you really believe them that this war would end war?”
William McBride was the name of an Irish soldiers who died in 1916, one of the many who fought a battle which most likely they barely understood and served the glory of an empire that did not fully represent him. It was this ‘war to end war’ idea that was maybe the most painful element of the ‘great war’. History shows us how unfortunately it was clearly not the end of all suffering as only a few years later the world would be plunged once more in a global conflict which caused even greater death and destruction to a much higher number of civilians too.
The distinguishing element of WWI from WWII is that it was mainly a fight between soldiers who were male individuals leaving most of the population out of the direct impact of the violence. The fact that teenagers were deceived and forced into cutting their lives short spending their final days living in torturous conditions and suffering mental agony still makes it an awful chapter of history.
It to these lads who suffered and died in this war and all the ones that followed that I dedicate this month of the blog. Understanding war, is the only thing that might help us prevent more ones from happening.
More articles on this month’s thematic can be found at: lostinacup.com/war