Did you know the idea of remembering the war dead is a relatively new idea, historically speaking, and in fact following the Battle of Waterloo local farmers were upset because the British wanted to claim the bodies of dead soldiers. The farmers usually simply ploughed the bodies under the soil to act as fertiliser! Hence one of the origins of the term “canon fodder”. The overwhelming majority of soldiers were from the poor classes and were considered “expendable” and not worthy of graves or remembrance. Even as late as the first World War European generals had no qualms to send thousands of young men to certain death against entrenched machine guns because after all these men were “dead common” but such wanton disregard for life would result in major changes in the social structure and the end of an all powerful aristocracy.


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