Readers respond to the centenary of the battle of Passchendaele. Jan Melichar, Karen Barratt and Louise Hunter question the pomp surrounding acts of remembrance. Danny Tanzey examines the military aftermath, while Rita McGhee says her sadness has been deepened because of Brexit
“It’s not about glorifying it,” said Michael Copland, a relative of one of those who fought at Passchendaele (“I died in hell”: sacrifice of war dead remembered at Passchendaele, 31 July). It would be worse than sad if that was the case. But it might be worth wondering about the vigorous encouragement for the public, and children in particular, to remember something which clearly none had experienced.
This remembered event is a construction which generally follows a comfortable and politically convenient narrative. Crucially what it fails to include is why 100 years later we have still not grasped that creating an enormous war-making machine underpinned by a militaristic mindset is a sure way to more misery.