The Wargamer

23 June 2017

Editorial: In Flanders Fields

Lest we forget whilst we enjoy our games

Published on 11 NOV 2014 6:29am by Nik Gaukroger
  1. business and industry, background / research material, english

Whilst we now pay our respects to the fallen of all conflicts on Remembrance Day, it is, of course, the events of World War 1 that prompted the annual event. With this year being the centennial of the start of WW1 I think it is only right that thoughts concentrate on that conflict. Although we tend to remember the later battles of the war, the Somme being perhaps the usual example that springs to mind, it is a sobering thought that at this point 100 years ago the casualty list was already well over 1 million and well on its way to 2 million. If I may be a touch parochial, even the relatively small British Expeditionary Force suffered close to 100,000 casualties of all sorts in the fighting in 1914. Of course, worse was to come.

As wargamers we are often asked, or even accused, whether what we do glorifies war. And itís certainly a valid question. Whilst I fear that the answer to that is too complicated and nuanced for this short piece, I would say that in my experience wargamers, as opposed to say the players of First person Shooters, are far more informed and aware of the details of war and its impact than the population in general. No doubt the number of ex-service personnel who are wargamers is a significant factor in this.

 

 

In Flanders Fields

John McRae

 

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.