John Blake

Forgotten voices of the First World War

As the centenary commemorations draw to a close, history teacher John Blake argues that we have missed the opportunity to set aside modern readings of the past and instead emphasise the authentic experiences of those who lived and died in the shadow of the conflict

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It is not hard to see why it was done, and it is hardly a huge change in any event, but it bothers me all the same.

With the centenary of the First World War coming to a close on Armistice Day this Sunday, there has been a great deal of excitement about Peter Jackson – director of the two, three-movie epic journeys through J R R Tolkien’s Middle-earth – and his latest piece of film wizardry, in which footage of soldiers on the Western Front has been tidied up, colourised and provided with a soundtrack based on lip-reading and the archives of the Imperial War Museum.

The film is, obviously, a ...

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