Friday, 19 October 2012

This day in history

It was on 19th October that President Truman signed the act officially ending the state of war with Germany.  But no, it was not in 1945 as you might expect, or even 1946.  It was, apparently, not until 1951 that the war was officially over!  I'm not at all sure that we need an Act of Parliament here in England to make a war official or to declare a war officially ended.  Come to that, I'm completely ignorant of just who or what decides that a state of war exists and makes one "official".  Thirty years ago there was, officially, no state of war between the UK and Argentina although our forces were fighting in and over the Falkland Islands.  No war officially, but people still talk of the Falklands war.  Did we have an official war against Iraq (either time)?  I don't remember - but both actions against that country are considered by the general public to have been wars.

Going further back in history, it was on 19th October 1781 that the British General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown.

Today is also the anniversary of the start of the first battle of Ypres in 1914.  This battle was to continue until 22 November.  In that battle, British casualties were nearly 8,000 dead, over 29,000 wounded and almost 18,000 missing.  Presumably most of the missing were dead.


Still in Pouancé, and in view of the mention of wars and battles, here is the war memorial which stands beside the church about a quarter of a mile along the road from yesterday's picture.

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