A link with the past.
The first world war now seems like ancient history. But occasionally events remind us that it is still within touch.
Yesterday afternoon we attended the funeral of an old friend who had died at the age of 102. A long life, well lived.
Today, I came across a landscape that reminded me of the battlefields of the Western Front. On the day that our friend was born, the Battle of Pozières, one of the phases of the Battle of the Somme, had just got under way. The Australians experienced their first major battle of the Western Front at Pozières. After capturing the village and suffering incessant artillery counter-attacks, they were finally relieved on 5 September by the Canadians at Mouquet Farm. Three Australian divisions had participated in the fight for Pozières and their losses amounted to over a third of the men involved. As to the village, it had simply disappeared.