Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the United Kingdom version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Nov-18 > The pity of war

The pity of war

The life of one paratrooper shows how we learned to see soldiers as ordinary people suffering in the service of their country, finds Lara Feigel

Our Boys by Helen Parr (Allen Lane, £20)

On 26th July 1982, the government held a memorial service at St Paul’s for the families of servicemen who had died in the recently concluded Falklands War. Preparations had been fraught. The church wanted to express regret not just for the 255 British men who had died but for the war as a whole—and to initiate reconciliation with Argentina. The dean proposed reading the Lord’s Prayer in Spanish. The government, however, was more interested in celebrating victory, keen to assure the bereaved families that the sacrifice had been worthwhile. On hearing about the proposal for a Spanish prayer, Margaret Thatcher asked simply: “Why?”

In the end the service was a compromise. The chaplain of the Second Battalion, Parachute Regiment (known as 2 Para), the battalion that led the advance in the bloodiest battles, read a lesson, as did two junior members of the British task force—this despite the dean’s preference that the military not be involved in the religious aspects of the service. There were no prayers in Spanish. But the church’s position was made clear in the sermon by Robert Runcie, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had served in Normandy during the Second World War.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Prospect Magazine - Nov-18
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - Nov-18
Or 499 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only £ 4.00 per issue
Or 3999 points

View Issues

About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect's November issue: Paul Collier explains how major cities in the UK will always be in the shadow of London unless capitalism is overhauled and suggests ways that we might be able to improve the situation in those communities that capitalism has left behind. Meanwhile, Steve Bloomfield asks what is going at the Foreign Office. The once great institution that was a symbol of Britain’s global power now seems to be lost and unable to explains its role. Also, Samira Shackle explores a Pakistani protest movement that is unnerving the country’s military. Elsewhere in the issue: Dahlia Lithwick suggests that the Supreme Court will struggle to retain its authority now that Brett Kavanaugh is on the bench. Philip Ball argues that DNA doesn’t define destiny as he reviews a new book by Robert Plomin. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Simon Heffer debate political correctness.