The Great War (Manx: Yn Caggey Mooar)

The Great War lasted four years 1914-18 (Manx: Va'n Caggey Mooar ayn rish kiare blein 1914-18). 

There was a complicated mixture of international alliances that saw nations drawn into the Great War (World War I). Tensions in Europe had been growing for a number of years and the spark that brought these tensions towards war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo on 28th June 1914. It set forth a remarkable series of events where existing treaties were acted upon and new alliances formed that led the world into a catastrophic World War that resulted in the death of millions.

There is no doubt that it was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, the social and political repercussions of which remain with us today some one hundred years later. It is estimated that over nine million combatants died with millions of civilians killed and displaced. Millions of animals also died in this human made conflict which is also something that should never be forgotten. It is right to remember the horrific aftermath of this conflict and in the Celtic nations as in other countries memorial services are being held this week.

In doing so it is in remembrance of the suffering of all involved and not to glorify any nation state that fought in the conflict. It has been noted many times that those who survived the conflict rarely talked of their experiences. Many who did spent the rest of their lives talking of the awfulness of war and how it should be avoided at all costs. So to do all of those involved in the Great War justice we should all work to avoid war. In doing so we need to remain vigilant and wary of those politicians and others who would and have, even in recent years, been the cause of conflict.


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