THIS IS A YEOVIL LITERARY FESTIVAL EVENT
Memorials of Remembrance
2019 commemorates the end of the First World War (it ended with the Treaty of Versailles of June 1919 not with the armistice off November 1918). In this talk Dan Cruickshank examines the First World War memorials to the British and Imperial dead.
This was an attempt to do the seemingly impossible – to create cemeteries and memorials that make some sense out of the million deaths, that gave some solace to the grieving and mourning families and that – on the hellish battlefields of Belgium, France ,Gallipoli, Iraq… created some sense of peace, order, even solemn beauty.
At the heart of the project was the determination that the dead would be remembered and honoured in uniform manner and with a sense of equality – no matter their rank in life, race or religion - and that their sacrifice would be remembered for millennia and that their names ‘Liveth for Evermore’. This was no small task considering the numbers of the dead and that over half had no known grave with many having no grave at all. But men of genius were involved – Sir Edwin Lutyens and Charles Holden as architects (along with talented but lesser designers like Herbert Baker and Reginald Blomfield), Rudyard Kipling and above all – General Fabian Ware who masterminded the Imperial War Graves Commission.
Dan made a programme for BBC4 about it all, broadcast November 2018.
This story is fascinating and ultimately uplifting.
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