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The pity of war: what a paratrooper’s tale can teach us about humanity

The life of one paratrooper shows how we learned to see soldiers as ordinary people suffering in the service of their country, finds Lara Feigel

By Lara Feigel   November 2018

A photograph of Dave, courtesy of Helen Carr.

On 26th July 1982, the government held a memorial service at St Paul’s for the families of servicemen who had died in the recently concluded Falklands War. Preparations had been fraught. The church wanted to express regret not just for the 255 British men who had died but for the war as a whole—and to initiate reconciliation with Argentina. The dean proposed reading the Lord’s Prayer in Spanish. The government, however, was more interested in celebrating victory, keen to assure the…

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