Letter to the Editor: Lest we forget

4 Nov 2023
Memorial at Mametz Wood

Dear Editor

Lest we forget

As war rages in Ukraine and the Middle East it is appropriate our thoughts turn to the commemoration of our own fallen on Remembrance Day. Established after the ‘Great War’, the war that was supposed to end all wars, it is a time for sober reflection.

My own thoughts turn to my pilgrimage in 2016 to Flanders to find the memorial to my great-grandfather killed at Passchendaele. He has no known grave.

On the Somme battlefields it is hard not to be moved by the myriad of large and small cemeteries, visible wherever you look. Perhaps most moving, for me, was the simple memorial at Mametz Wood to the 38th Welsh Division. A red dragon, breaking free from barbed-wire, gazes towards the ill-fated wood where 4,000 young men were killed or wounded.

That is the cost of war. Young men and women, it is usually the young, with their lives ahead of them have that potential taken away. I felt at that time, and still do, that any politician contemplating war should shoulder a military pack and walk through that wood on a calm, dry November day and think on those 4,000 and only then decide.

There are righteous wars but we owe it to those that have fallen to weigh carefully our decision to fight, and to strive mightily for peace, lest we forget their ultimate sacrifice.

Your sincerely,


Mark Wooding

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Central Devon

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