Fringe Box



Letter: New War Monument Should Be Paid For By Subscription

Published on: 11 Jul, 2017
Updated on: 11 Jul, 2017

From David Roberts

Any monument should be funded by public subscription, as the Victorians often did, rather than from council or government funds.

You don’t have to be a pacifist or a soppy lefty to be disturbed by the sentimentalisation of the armed forces in recent years. When people did national service and lived in the shadow of World War Two and potential nuclear incineration, they had a much saner attitude: that war and glorification of the military are bad, and that servicemen are risk-taking professionals who do a mostly boring but occasionally very dangerous job. This view prevailed right up to Iraq.

The national proliferation of war memorials, on the other hand, seems to have accelerated in proportion to Britain’s global shrinkage and military failures. It’s not the cost of the monument that irks me, or the laudable intention to mark Guildford’s military history: it’s the suspicion that council leaders see an easy opportunity to bask in the reflected glory of “our heroes”.

I agree with that unsoppy lefty, Brecht: “Unhappy is the land that needs a hero”.

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Responses to Letter: New War Monument Should Be Paid For By Subscription

  1. Sue Warner Reply

    July 12, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I may have missed this (been a busy couple of weeks) but why do we need a new one?

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