I am surprised by Julia Maybury’s letter on “Women’s role in the Great War” (letters, January 30), for she treats it as a British affair only, which it was not.
The ladies’ “sincere dutiful endeavour and sacrifice” was reflected for good and ill by their overseas sisters in the darkness of the warring empires. Women “on munitions” turned out shells to murder their opponents’ menfolk in bombardments by up to a million shells in four or five hours.
Somebody once noted that all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
This was fulfilled on all sides in this holocaust of young Europe, with grotesque head and face damage making mockeries of just-war theories, war with such unspeakable fruits to be sustained for decades being clearly a greater evil than any it purported to address.
The Allies’ refusals of papal peace initiatives were blots on our national honour.
Whatever Kitchener, Ludendorff and company may have said, we must build a rejection of the war method into our remembrance of the millions who suffered grievously through the blighted years a century ago.