Death Song for a Generation

Promising English composer George Butterworth was killed at the Battle of the Somme one hundred years ago on August 5. He was just 31 years old.

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You Say Boots, I Say Rubbers

Boots.svgFreezing rain in an English village. My shoes were soaked. I ducked into the local pharmacy (Boots) to see if they might have something that could keep my shoes dry. “Boots” is to England what “CVS” is to the United States. I knew that.
Continue reading You Say Boots, I Say Rubbers

“Patriotism Is Not Enough”

A close-up of the Edith Cavell statue in London.One hundred years ago on October 12, in the gray light of a chill Brussels dawn, a gallant English nurse faced a German firing squad.

Her name: Edith Cavell.

Her crime: Helping Allied soldiers escape to neutral Holland.

Bullets were a strange end for a woman who had devoted her life to being a healer. Continue reading “Patriotism Is Not Enough”

The Soldier

BrookePoet Rupert Brooke died a century ago on April 23. He died too soon for three reasons. First, he was only 28. Second, he was denied the opportunity to bring his rich poetical gifts to fruition. And third, he never saw for himself what war was really like.

The third was perhaps his greatest tragedy. Continue reading The Soldier

An EVEL Day for Britain?

big-ben-450819_640Having just survived a bitterly-contested vote over Scottish independence, Britain is now plunging headlong into yet another identity crisis. This one is called, “English Votes for English Laws”—EVEL for short. Continue reading An EVEL Day for Britain?