THERE have been many times during these last four centenary years in which we have paused in sombre respect for the sacrifices of those scarred by the wanton sacrifice of the First World War. Today is one such day.
At Amiens cathedral in northern France, 100 years to the day of the start of the battle that brought the war finally out of the trenches, Prince William and Theresa May will gather with the descendants of some of those who were there.
Amiens was the pivotal point at which the war’s course was changed. It led to the collapse of the German Army and, 100 days later, to the Armistice.
In Germany, it is known as the blackest day, yet, significantly, Mrs May will be joined in mourning by its former president, Joachim Gauck. He will read the poem, After a Bad Dream by Gerrit Engelke, whom some call the German Wilfred Owen.
This is appropriate. Our continued veneration of him and every other soldier from that terrible time is the very least they deserve.