Monday, September 17, 2007

The Not So Hidden Cost Of War

From the Daily Mail comes the story of a new book, "Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men After The First World War" by Virginia Nicholson. The book tells the story of what happened to 2 million British women following the deaths of so many of Britain's male population in the "War to End All Wars".

One hazy morning in 1917 the senior mistress of Bournemouth High School For Girls stood up in front of the assembled sixth form and announced to her hushed audience: "I have come to tell you a terrible fact.

"Only one out of ten of you girls can ever hope to marry. This is not a guess of mine. It is a statistical fact.

"Nearly all the men who might have married you have been killed. You will have to make your way in the world as best you can.

"The war has made more openings for women than there were before. But there will still be a lot of prejudice. You will have to fight. You will have to struggle."

Loneliness and despair stalked a large segment of the female members of the Lost Generation. That is the sad legacy of war. Any war. Unintended consequences are rife when politicians take the decision to wage war. Sometimes the price is too high.

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