Tour of homage to fallen heroes

20th July 2007 at 01:00
Three years ago, my wife suggested that we go to France and Belgium and see the First World War battle sites, which I had wanted to do for years, says the headteacher of Wester Hailes Education Centre in Edinburgh.

We went to France and stayed in Arras. We toured from Ypres, in Belgium, down to the Somme and it was the most moving and wonderful five days. The whole area is one battle site, graveyard or memorial after another. In Ypres every evening, the fire brigade trumpeters play the "Last Post" at Menin Gate, out of which the guys marched as they headed to the front.

Both my grandfathers fought in the First World War. One was killed and the other arrived in France in 1914 and was still there in November 1918, so I had a personal interest. I'm also interested in history and military history.

But I do not consider the First World War glorious. I consider it a horrible waste of human life. I was not there to glorify what happened. It moved me incredibly.

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