ANOTHER HORSE, FIERY RED, WELNT OUT. AND IT WAS GRANTED TO THE ONE WHO SAT ON IT
TO TAKE PEACE FROM THE EARTH, AND THAT PEOPLE SHOULD KILL ONE ANOTHER,
AND THERE WAS GIVEN TO HIM A GREAT SWORD. REV 6:4
Not to be niggardly with some sycophantic cheering and backslapping, hearty commendations for a nice informative compendium of fairly user-friendly cyberdata accumulated assiduously over the past decade and a half. A veritable cornucopia of facts and figures (accuracy sometimes debateable and reliability sometimes shakey) of variegated archival value, especially relevant to the activities and performance of lesser known local South African and colonial combat formations, and details of warfield activity covered by cryptically named bars on QSA medals. Furthermore a transient resource application (a.k.a. 'app') that indulges the curiosity of family ancestry rummagers, voyeurism of sociologists, documentations of genealogists, stratagems of wargamers, and not to be overlooked, the pecuniary aspirations of both amateur and professional purveyors of martial baubles. All well and good so far, but history is simply shadows of the past - a gallery of what is gone, for the discipline and edification of the present - yet as far back as mid-1800's Hegel told the world . . .
Could this 15 years of stored knowledge yield then, anything of more worth than mere esoteric intellectual titillation or frothy quasi-military lightweight mental diversion? Recently it was heartening to see a Flanders Poppy adorning the home page of the ABW website, which first and foremost must remain to be seen by all as a glowing warning LED, akin to a candle of rememberance lit every day, not only to pay respects to combatant and non-combatant, also the 'Known only to God' casualties of all past conflicts . . .
. . . but to be repeated indictment of the deceitful misconception that'dulce et decorum est pro patria mori' . . .
"Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! . . . Dim through the thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning"
. . . and lest things that should be remembered are forgotten, we lose sight of man's ongoing inhumanity to man, and the crass folly and horrible wastefulness of warfare . . .
HIROSHIMA - AFTER ENOLA GAY'S VISIT.
On the base of a fine AB war memorial (bet you won't know where) is inscribed this noteworthy epigram . . .
THE GREATNESS OF A NATION
CONSISTS NOT SO MUCH UPON THE NUMBER OF ITS PEOPLE
OR THE EXTENT OF ITS TERRITORY
AS IN THE EXTENT AND JUSTICE OF ITS COMPASSION.
Viewed through the retrospectoscope giving clear 20/20 jingo-free vision, should the QSA and KSA (in particular?) awards not de facto be deemed emblems of disgrace, rather than esteem for service to 'Queen/King and Country'. Debatably, Henry Ford once announced "History is more or less bunk". That be as it may - but scrutiny of official records discloses gravely foolish, inhumane and ignoble management by Perfidious Albion in dealing with the intransigent Boer republics, flagrantly lacking in justice or compassion by removal of POW's to several distant corners of the Empire, overcrowded POW camps, civilian internment in camps of displaced women and children, and the devastation of farms, homesteads and lands following a scorched earth policy.
Little or nothing of Boer fighting capability having been learned from the'Hill of Doves'and 1stTransvaal Boer war, several British army commanders often incurred unecessary soldiery mortalities by inept tactics and field blunders amounting to outright stupidity at times - during the Crimean war the Russians had scornfully dismissed the British army as "Lions led by asses".
It is by singular quirk of political fate that the subjugated Afrikaans speaking ZAR Volk in less than a dozen years would join the Rooineks against Oom Paul's erstwhile ally, Kaiser Bill - grandson of Queen Victoria! Sadly the flickering illumination of the ABW candles reveals mankind being scarcely entitled to assume the name homo sapiens, but should be designated rather homo stultus or homo ferox!
Speaking In the House of Commons not many years after the ending of World War 2, Winston Churchill, himself well versed in the vicissitudes of war, warned "Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it" - to which we can only respond with the murmered fervent and prayerful request "God Forbid", at the same time recollecting the concluding moral of Coleridge's Ancient Mariner . . .
He prayeth best who loveth best all things both great and small,
For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all
"The greatness of a nation consists not so much in the number of it's people or the extent of it's territory as in the extent and justice of its compassion"
The following user(s) said Thank You: Brett Hendey, QSAMIKE