When I woke this morning, almost the first thing I thought of was Edgar Mobbs. He died at the third battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) one hundred years ago today. “Even as he lay dying, he scribbled out the machine gun post’s map reference for HQ to eliminate it, asked for reinforcements, and finally added: “Am seriously wounded”.
There’s still disagreement about how many – on both sides – died in this battle, and while Edgar Mobbs was just one, for me he represents all those aspirations and possibilities cut off in their prime. Another casualty on this day was Hedd Wyn, the Welsh bard. War does not discriminate.