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Opinion : WW1 : A Century later

| August 5, 2014


It was supposed to be The Great War to end all wars. In fact the words on the reverse of the Victory Medal describe it as The Great War For Civilisation.

A Century later nobody who fought in World War One is alive to recount the horrors of the first mechanised war which saw killing machines take to the battle field.

Chemical weapons such a Mustard Gas were widely used too. Today the use of such weapons causes outrage and quite rightly so.

WW1 was truly horrific, yet despite all the suffering less than twenty one years later, in 1939, the world found itself at war again.

WW1 changed our country, our town and touched the lives of everyone alive at the time. Thankfully we were victorious but do the people of today really connect with the events of a hundred years ago?

Today the memorial to the Great War erected by money given by the people of Wycombe which stands in the grounds of the Parish Church is used by many as a picnic table and climbing frame. Indeed workmen and yobbos clear the wreaths to one side so they can sit and eat their lunch on the steps of the memorial to the fallen.

I would like to see a metal railing installed around the War Memorial in the grounds of the Parish Church to prevent the yobbos from sitting on it to eat their lunch.

At the end of the Great War the people of Wycombe raised so much that with the money that was over the War Memorial Hospital was erected on Marlow Hill.

Today Wycombe Hospital, the successor to the War Memorial Hospital doesn’t even have an Accident & Emergency Department indeed key services are being taken away to far away places potentially increasing travelling time and stress on patients and relatives.

The names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice can still be seen on the plaques outside the entrance to Wycombe Hospital. For the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of hostilities historians in other nearby villages researched the names of those who appear on their local war memorials yet Wycombe did not. This is find disgraceful.

A Century is a long time and sadly I fear WW1 is slipping from the memory of many people.

Those who took part in WW1 may no longer be with us however those of a certain age, especially those of advancing years like my good self, grew up knowing family members or neighbours who fought for our freedom.

I feel it’s our duty to pass on the stories of horror from The Great War to the younger generation so they know the suffering and torment that man is capable of inflicting on others in the name of War.

We must not let the world forget what unfolded back in 1914 or again 1939 come to that.

What do you think?

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