London’s Legacy of War

There’s a truly obvious theme that you’d have to be blind not to notice in any visit to London. The legacy of the UK’s many wars. In Mexico, there’s really only been a few wars of note. You can count them on one hand and still have a finger or two to spare. In London, a coach load of visitors would soon run out of digits adding up the statues, memorials and other monuments to battles of days gone by. Two World Wars, the Boer War, Trafalgar, Waterloo, Crimea, the 100 Year War….it’s a seemingly endless list. To be fair, England has had 1000 years plus to tally up its long list.

Paola is, I think, beginning to grasp the sheer scale of British conflict, past and present. I’m not convinced that any other nation over the last millenia quite compares. She hasn’t been through Remembrance Day yet. She has seen videos of British troops in Afghansitan and Iraq. And old videos such as the Iranian Embassy Siege. yesterday we watched a programme about Royal Wootten Bassett, which is well worth watching.

It produces a conundrum. It’s difficult not to be proud, inspired and awed by the soldiers of the British Army, the airmen of the RAF and the sailors of the Royal Navy. It’s equally difficult  not to be impressed by the global achievements, campaigns and empire of such a tiny island. At the same time, it’s difficult to comprehend the political insanity, inhumanity and greed that accompanied them.


4 thoughts on “London’s Legacy of War

    • You might be right Harvey. Maybe I am. I’d like to think so, in certain ways at least. Whether you mean that as a compliment or insult isn’t quite clear though – you’d have to clarify that.


  1. Kim G says:

    Interesting post about the UK’s military history. And yes, I too am impressed by the former glories of the British Empire, even if you did manage to lose one of the best bits early on. But at least we all still have the “special relationship.”

    Good thing too, since we’ve taken up the mantle of global military adventures, and it’s nice to have the backing of the former motherland.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where everyday we pass the building from which this bit of the Empire was once ruled.


    • For some people, how exactly little old England (then little ole Britain) accrued such an enormous empire is a mystery. The reality is really very simple. Eddie Izzard explains all in the first sixty seconds of this clip.

      What does that building run these days?


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