battle of the somme

British soldier, Sergeant David Harkness Blakey, of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers who died aged 26 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, has finally been laid to rest. His remains were found in November 2013 during roadworks in Thiepval, northern France. It made me think, while Sergeant Harkness Blakey’s remains lay¬†undisturbed for 97 years, having given his life in a war that was supposed to end all wars, there have been several major wars and even more minor wars. Is the world any safer for all the fighting and dying? Today our attention is concentrated in The Middle East. And in the backwaters of Eastern Europe, authorities working with the FBI have interrupted 4 attempts in the past 5-years by gangs with suspected Russian connections that sought to sell radioactive material to Middle-Eastern extremists who would like nothing more than to build dirty bombs. So we come back to Sergeant Harkness Blakey. Was the man’s sacrifice of any benefit to world peace? It is certainly not for me to make such an assessment, however some people might conclude the man laid down his life for nothing, based on the fact that the Great War of 1914-1918, far from reducing man’s appetite for war, only increased it!


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