Home » E-Learning » Death in the Ypres salient

Death in the Ypres salient

Had the public seen, and seen repeatedly, what death looked like between 1914 and 1918 perhaps the public outcry would have brought it to an early end. Or not. The dead then are the cartridge empties of today. Beyond comprehending the opportunities of open learning and the theory behind the processes that occur we as ‘educators’ still need to deliver content, to create an event, put on a show, get attention, set the tone for a programme of work. Martin Weller thinks that being media savvy is to add some downloaded graphics or snapshots to a slide, actually, the art and skill of communication as anyone in advertising will tell you is far more able to leave an impression. Making a bar of soap interesting is a challenge, making war interesting should be easy so long as you stick to what attracts interest: fighting and death. Three decades listening to my grandfather and I can only now take on board what it must have been like to be stuck, repeatedly, in a confined space, in harms way, with a buddy or two at your side, horribly wounded and slowly dying. 75 years after these events my grandfather returned to the very spot where this occurred and he broke down to think how they died, and why they died and the lives they never had but deserved, let along the wife and kids one left behind. He never recovered from that trip and died himself a few months later – it was as if death had touched him to the soul and after 97 years he could put it off no longer. The art of George Leroux comes to mind – horrific, gutsy, ante-war, hell on earth.



  1. But its not as easy as that. The world, as we know it, changed radically over the period after the second world war. Jeremy Paxman has highlighted the change in our ‘sense of duty’ such that he doesn’t think we couldn’t get a generation to fight on the same scale that they did in 1914.

    At the time, it was seen as the right thing to do. Now our moral compass is such that Russia will assume control over the Crimea in a few days time in also the same way that Nazi German took over control of the Sudetenland. The only difference now is we won’t go to war.

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