Holding the Field

David Chandler enters a plea for a more sensitive treatment for Europe’s great battlefields.

With the fierce though mercifully short ‘100 Hours Land War' over Kuwait so fresh in the mind's eye, this is not a wholly inappropriate moment to reflect upon the preservation of key battlefields both ancient and modern at home and overseas, for the sake of posterity. Doubtless there are some readers who would consider the siting of a new motorway over an ancient battle site as a small price to pay for saving a minute or two on a long road journey - in which case let the Oxford inner circular road be driven through Christchurch Meadows and Port Meadow and have done with it, and at the same time with all the general clap-trap about ‘dreaming spires' and ‘homes of lost causes' in this, the eve of the technologically-dominated twenty-first century.

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