Tag: “The Somme

Songs Churchill Would Love: “Willie McBride”

Songs Churchill Would Love: “Willie McBride”

Sir Mar­tin Gilbert’s mov­ing book, The Somme: Hero­ism and Hor­ror in the First World War, ends with vers­es from “Willie McBride,” by the Scot­tish-Aus­tralian song­writer Eric Bogle, which car­ry an ever­green mes­sage to all gen­er­a­tions, and cap­ture what Churchill thought of mod­ern war—which he tried so hard, before both World Wars, to avoid.

Sir Mar­tin wrote that in research for the book, he and Lady Gilbert found the grave of Pri­vate William McBride, Roy­al Inniskilling Fusiliers, killed April 1916, two months before the Somme. Whether this was the grave of Eric Bogle’s sub­ject is imma­te­r­i­al.…

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