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"Oh, what a lovely war" (moved from ANZAC Day Thread)

"Oh, what a lovely war" (moved from ANZAC Day Thread)

Old May 9th 2024, 3:42 am
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Default "Oh, what a lovely war" (moved from ANZAC Day Thread)

"Oh, what a lovely war!", a satirical anti-war play, was a huge hit in 1963, on my first visit to London. I still recall bits of it, though it was many years before its message got through to me.

One item I remember is the flashing of moving lights reporting one of the mass slaughters of the first "World War" - called The Great War at the time - "Germans killed: 500,000... British allies killed: 350,000". The actors clapped their hands in joy, shouting "We won! We won!" My other memory is of a rollicking song that ended "I'll make a man of any one of you! - and you, and you!" - sung by a young woman in tights while offering white feathers to men not in uniform. (There was no conscription in that war, just social pressure.)

Wikipedia has a summary of the plot, for anyone interested. Did anybody here see the play, or the later movie of the same name?
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Old May 9th 2024, 8:37 am
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Default "Oh, what a lovely war" (moved from ANZAC Day Thread)

Originally Posted by Gordon Barlow
"Oh, what a lovely war!", a satirical anti-war play, was a huge hit in 1963, on my first visit to London. I still recall bits of it, though it was many years before its message got through to me.

One item I remember is the flashing of moving lights reporting one of the mass slaughters of the first "World War" - called The Great War at the time - "Germans killed: 500,000... British allies killed: 350,000". The actors clapped their hands in joy, shouting "We won! We won!" My other memory is of a rollicking song that ended "I'll make a man of any one of you! - and you, and you!" - sung by a young woman in tights while offering white feathers to men not in uniform. (There was no conscription in that war, just social pressure.)

Wikipedia has a summary of the plot, for anyone interested. Did anybody here see the play, or the later movie of the same name?
Saw the movie, as a 15 year old (long time ago!), strongest memory was the red tape scene.

And yes, the social pressure was quite telling.
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Old May 10th 2024, 12:37 am
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Default Re: "Oh, what a lovely war" (moved from ANZAC Day Thread)

I saw the movie, I was 9. It made no sense to me and I was glad when it ended as it was boring. We lived in Bermuda at the time and went to see everything as there was no TV!
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Old May 10th 2024, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: "Oh, what a lovely war" (moved from ANZAC Day Thread)

I notice the Anzac Day Thread was closed which was rather a shame but I guess 'social media' is the name of the game and thus attracts all sorts, anyhow this is my contribution, Lest We Forget.



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Old May 10th 2024, 8:30 pm
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Default Re: "Oh, what a lovely war" (moved from ANZAC Day Thread)

Very nice photo. It is a shame how some individuals are so easily influenced by nonsense floating around on the net, though everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Although both my Grandfathers (and several other family members) had a role to play in both wars, I made it a personal goal to explore a little deeper to see where they had been and what they had been confronted with, especially as such family members were often reluctant to talk about it. Whenever I get the chance I visit museums and old battle areas along with the cemeteries. It is truly amazing what is still being discovered about these very testing periods in our history. I'm very lucky to have diaries and letters home from one Grandfather and an Uncle.
The Grandfather served in the Army in WW1 in France and Belgium, the Uncle in the RAF in WW2 India and Burma. Grandfather was carrying ammunition to his machine gun team one Sunday morning and was hit by a sniper in the foot. This literally saved his life as he spent some time recovering in UK whilst most of his friends were lost in campaigns in late 1917. He went back again right up until the very end. The Uncle served with an RAF unit that the supported the Chindits. This meant operating often behind the Japanese lines and being attacked almost daily. He paid for it with mental health problems for the rest of his life and didn't actually get back to the UK until 1947. He had several nervous breakdowns in the following years but the war had basically destroyed his life.

I am at least very grateful for the sacrifices they made. We are lucky to live in a time where things are a little less "Colonial" than they used to be despite 2 very big and destructive conflicts in the media (plus quite a few others that gain less attention) The big lesson is of course, was are no good for anybody.

Too bad we have so many politicians with no backbone.
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Old May 11th 2024, 6:10 am
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Default Re: "Oh, what a lovely war" (moved from ANZAC Day Thread)

Originally Posted by Finknottle
Saw the movie, as a 15 year old (long time ago!), strongest memory was the red tape scene...
What was the red-tape scene? I don't remember it from the play, and I never saw the movie. (It was a long time ago for me, too!)
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Old May 11th 2024, 6:27 am
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Default Re: "Oh, what a lovely war" (moved from ANZAC Day Thread)

Originally Posted by Gordon Barlow
What was the red-tape scene? I don't remember it from the play, and I never saw the movie. (It was a long time ago for me, too!)
Although the scene obviously made an impression on me I can't remember the details - but the scene was one of the lads wandering through the shell torn landscape, following red tape, strung from post to post.
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Old Jun 7th 2024, 4:26 pm
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Default Re: "Oh, what a lovely war" (moved from ANZAC Day Thread)

Originally Posted by calman014
Very nice photo. It is a shame how some individuals are so easily influenced by nonsense floating around on the net, though everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Although both my Grandfathers (and several other family members) had a role to play in both wars, I made it a personal goal to explore a little deeper to see where they had been and what they had been confronted with, especially as such family members were often reluctant to talk about it. Whenever I get the chance I visit museums and old battle areas along with the cemeteries. It is truly amazing what is still being discovered about these very testing periods in our history. I'm very lucky to have diaries and letters home from one Grandfather and an Uncle.
The Grandfather served in the Army in WW1 in France and Belgium, the Uncle in the RAF in WW2 India and Burma. Grandfather was carrying ammunition to his machine gun team one Sunday morning and was hit by a sniper in the foot. This literally saved his life as he spent some time recovering in UK whilst most of his friends were lost in campaigns in late 1917. He went back again right up until the very end. The Uncle served with an RAF unit that the supported the Chindits. This meant operating often behind the Japanese lines and being attacked almost daily. He paid for it with mental health problems for the rest of his life and didn't actually get back to the UK until 1947. He had several nervous breakdowns in the following years but the war had basically destroyed his life.

I am at least very grateful for the sacrifices they made. We are lucky to live in a time where things are a little less "Colonial" than they used to be despite 2 very big and destructive conflicts in the media (plus quite a few others that gain less attention) The big lesson is of course, was are no good for anybody.

Too bad we have so many politicians with no backbone.
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LET ALL MEN KNOW THAT THIS IS HOLY GROUND. THIS SHRINE, ESTABLISHED IN THE HEARTS OF MEN AS ON THE SOLID EARTH, COMMEMORATES A PEOPLE'S FORTITUDE AND SACRIFICE. YE THEREFORE THAT COME AFTER, GIVE REMEMBRANCE.





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