Source A is a picture of a flower, named a poppy. There is much more to this poppy than a bright red colour. This flower is known around the world as a symbol of the brave soldiers who fought in world war one, and a symbol of the many losses that world war one had brought.
Source B is a famous painting, named ‘Gassed’, by John Singer Sargent. This painting was painted in March 1919. It was painted in London, England. This piece was then published to the Imperial War Museum. This painting was created to demonstrate the aftermath of a mustard gas attack during the First World War with a line of wounded soldiers walking towards a dressing station.
by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Source C is a poem named In Flanders Fields. This is possibly one of the most famous pieces of war poetry known to man. It was written by John McCrae, a surgeon in the Canadian Army. He composed this poem while observing the scenes outside a dressing station near Ypres in 1915. This poem was also created to show the brutality and relentlessness of the war.
Source D is a picture of ‘The Centopath’. It was built as a temporary figure, but was permanently built between 1919-1920. It is located in Whitewall, in London. This monument resembles the dangerous, brutal service that the soldiers had done for their country, and honours them tremendously.
Even 100 years after World War one, it still effects our lives dramatically. During this war, there were over 16 million deaths and over 20 million wounded. This tore apart families and left scars that families could never forget.
World war one is remembered in a number of ways. One of which being that on the anniversary of the war, every year, people pin a poppy on their shirts, as seen in Source A. This is a symbol that honours the soldiers of WW1 and commemorates them. Many statues have been created around the globe, in honour of the brave veterans or World War One. One of which being ‘The Centopath’, which is shown in Source B. When seeing the poppies, or statues, one may not think much of it. However, they have a deeper meaning. They resemble the hard work and suffering that the soldiers had to go through for their country.
In South Africa, it is extremely important for us to commemorate World War One. This is because we have to honour and respect the deceased soldiers who had fought in the war. This is because without them, the world would have been a much more different place today. Honouring these heroes is incredibly important.
This year is the hundredth anniversary of the war. Around the world, many things are being done to commemorate this war. More than 1000 poppies will be grown and the church receive a major grant for it’s repairs. As usual, poppies are being worn on shirts. At 11AM, a Cenotaph service is being held on live television. This is an incredible thing to watch, as it commemorates all of the heroes lost in the war, and their service that they did, protecting their country.
The first world war was a brutal, relentless time (as depicted in Source B). The veterans who fought in this war were incredibly brave and courageous. We thank them for their hard work serving their country. They deserve all of the glory that they can get. Although almost none of those soldiers are still alive today, their spirits will always be remembered in our hearts.
Peter D’Aguiar + Joel Kruger