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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

The Cost of Sacrifice


Marc Thompson

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Whilst reading 'Courage Remembered' today I came across the following reference which certainly brought home to me the reality of over a million British and Commonwealth dead in the Great War:

'Imagine them marching in one continuous column, four abreast, past the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London. As the head of that column reaches the Cenotaph, the last four men would be at Durham. In Canada, that column would stretch across the land from Quebec to Ottawa; in Australia, from Melborne to Canberra; in South Africa, from Bloemfontein to Pretoria; in New Zealand, from Christchurch to Wellington; in Newfoundland, from coast to coast of the island; and in India, from Lahore to Delhi. It would take these million men eighty-four hours, or three and a half days, to march past the Cenotaph in London.'

It made me wonder just how long the column would have stretched for the other nations dead in the Great War?

Marc

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Marc

Recall something similiar being referred to on TV coverage Of Remembrance Sunday. Little wonder they are still finding remnants on a daily basis. Certainly food for thought!!

'LEST WE FORGET'

Mike

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Just finished reading an article in which Alec Campbell who was the last Australian Gallipoli survivor talks about his extended family, which was something like 6 children, 20 grandchildren, 30 great grand children, and he makes mention of the fact about how the war affected Australia's future as it wasn't just those 60,000 killed that were lost, it was also their future offspring.

Campbell seemed to clearly see that it wasn't just the war dead that affected all of our countries, but also those that will never be born.

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it wasn't just the war dead that affected all of our countries, but also those that will never be born.

How true. And each nation who fought in the war lost, in many cases, the cream of its gene pool, at least in the early years. How many intelligent, strong, and personable young men from each country disappeared who could have gone on to brilliant nation building, and siring of similar youth?

It's a wonder how any of us turned out okay . . . :P

Peter

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Guest Hill 60
It's a wonder how any of us turned out okay . . . :P

Speak for yourself Peter I'm reserving judgement on myself until the Doctor's report comes back :wacko:

Seriously though, it brings it home when you imagine what a line of men 4 abreast snaking its way from the Cenotaph to Durham would look like.

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It reminds me of what the British caretaker (or whatever they're called!) of Bedford House Cemetery (I can't recall his name)said to me when I was about 10.

"Imagine that every headstone you see in front of you is a soldier, a living person, all stood shoulder to shoulder. They were once."

This image is one that I try to imagine every time I visit a war cemetery.It's quite sobering.

Dave

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