Lest We Forget

The British public are obsessed with the First World War, but know little about how it was brought to an end.

Holding the line: French soldiers blinded by gassing at the Marne, 1918.Countless words have been devoted to the origins of the First World War, while the churning battles of the Somme, in 1916, and Passchendaele the following year, haunt Britain’s collective memory. They continue to do so, even though the last men to have experienced the realities of the Western Front have long since passed. The end of the Great War, however, is a very different matter.

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