Robin De Peyer, standard.co.uk, 5 August 2014
As the lights went out, their memories burned bright: London pays tribute to WWI heroes with dramatic display
London was plunged into darkness last night as lights across the capital were switched off in a poignant act of remembrance to those who gave their lives in World War One.
A single beam of light, visible for miles around, was projected from Westminster as landmarks including the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace were shrouded in darkness.
On the 100th anniversary since Britain joined the First World War, millions of people across the country reflected by the light of a candle on the sacrifices made by the young men and women during the Great War.
At Piccadilly Circus, the bright lights of the advertising boards were replaced with pictures of poppies and black and white photos of scenes from the war, along with the message: “Westminster remembers”.
The project was a reference to then-foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey's famous remark on the eve of the outbreak of war, when he said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”
The poignant commemoration came after a day during which respects were paid across the UK and Europe to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Helen Dunmore, The Lie, 2014
[The scene takes place during the First World War.]
I wondered if the war had forgotten about us, although I knew it couldn't have done. […] Then there was an order: we were to march to another quay, where the troopship lay.
I'd never imagined a vessel as tall as that one. It looked as if it could carry a city of men. Some were already up there, moving about like ants. Khaki ants. But my feet were still on solid earth. I wondered how I should ever come back. It seemed like a dream, that the ship was going to take all of us away with it, to another country, and that maybe we'd come back in that white ship1 with its green band, or maybe we wouldn't come back. I wondered if the others thought of it, but no one said a word except about when we'd next have a brew2 [. . .]. The crossing was roughish and we had to wear life-jackets in case of mines, or maybe submarines. Some of the boys were sick. We sat on deck and smoked, and saw England sidle away backwards, as if it were trying to escape. Rain was spattering out of the clouds, but not much. Being on that boat was something and nothing. We were in the army, but the army doesn't fight on water. We weren't in England and we weren't in France. I didn't mind how long the crossing lasted.When we landed, we were in France. After all the talking and training, there it was, an ordinary town with the gulls flying up against the houses and people going about their business, not stopping to look at us because they were so used to the sight of us I suppose.
1 White ship: hospital ship
2 Have a brew: have a drink (tea or beer)
Ian McEwan, Atonement, 2001
[The scene takes place during the Second World War.]
The convoy had entered a bombed village, or perhaps the suburb of a small town – the place was rubble and it was impossible to tell. Who would care? Who could ever describe this confusion, and come up with the village names and the dates for the history books? And take the reasonable view and begin to assign the blame? No one would ever know what it was like to be here. Without the details there could be no larger picture. The abandoned stores, equipment and vehicles made an avenue of scrap that spilled across their path. With this, and the bodies, they were forced to walk in the centre of the road. That did not matter because the convoy was no longer moving. Soldiers were climbing out of troop carriers and continuing on foot, stumbling over brick and roof tiles. The wounded were left in the lorries to wait. There was a greater press of bodies in a narrower space, greater irritation. Turner kept his head down and followed the man in front, protectively folded in his thoughts.
Who is remembered? Choose the right answer.
How are these people presented?
Why are they presented like this?
Name 2 ways in which Great Britain remembered them on August 4th 2014.
Say if the following statement is True or False, and justify your answer with a quote: These commemorations only took place in London.
Copy out the following paragraph and fill in the blanks. One blank corresponds to one or several words taken from the text.
The scene takes place during ... The narrator is in the British ... Together with other soldiers he is leaving ... to go to ... by ...
Is there a sense of danger during the crossing? Justify with a quote.
How does the narrator feel when he thinks about his future? Choose the most appropriate adjective.
Among the following sentences, say which statements are True or False.
- 1. are sharing their feelings about the situation.
- 2. are enjoying a very pleasant crossing.
- 3. have a sense of immobility.
How does the narrator feel when he arrives in France? Explain his reaction briefly.
Choose the correct answer.
Choose the correct answer.
He is with a convoy that …
Say in your own words what the men in the convoy can see all around them.
Answer the following question briefly and justify each time with a quote. What are three of his concerns about the situation?
Answer the following question briefly and justify each time with a quote. How is Turner coping with the situation?
Use the three texts to describe three stages in the making of a war hero.