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Letters to the Editor: April 2014

A selection of readers' correspondence with the editor, Paul Lay.

Share your thoughts with the readers of History Today.

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Age of Consent

Stephen Cooper states that in June 1919 ‘approximately 750,000 British war widows were receiving medallions which proudly declared that the war had been worthwhile’ (Taking Sides on the Great War, March 2014). But not all of Britain’s war dead were married men. There were unmarried men from the age of 15 upwards. It is also worth remembering that not all who made the ‘supreme sacrifice’ were males. A substantial number of women in nursing and medical services died through illness or injuries sustained while serving behind the front lines.

Robert Graves’ Good-bye to All That (1929) is assessed as ‘more like a tribute to the bloody-minded determination of the British soldier’ than an anti-war tract. Nonetheless Graves, in his lengthy description of the battles of September 1915 in the Loos sector, ferociously condemns the BEF commanders’ strategy and tactics.

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