World War One started in July 1914, but when did it end? Conventionally, people assume it ended in November 1918, with the surrender of Germany.
But people were still dying many years later. My own grandfather suffered for decades with lungs rotted out by mustard gas at the Somme, and didn’t die for many years, gasping and coughing nightly.
The most recent victims, astonishingly, were as recently as March 2014, almost exactly a century after the conflict started. How is that possible? They were construction workers, who accidentally triggered an unexploded bomb buried beneath where they were working.
During WW1, a ton of explosives was fired for every square metre of territory along the front.
As a result, the French Département du Déminage (Department of Mine Clearance) recovers about 900 tons of unexploded munitions every year. They call it the Iron Harvest.
Unexploded ordinance is left behind after all conflicts. Children are maimed and killed every year as a result of uncleared mines and bombs in Asia and Africa.
The wars we fight today will kill not only us but our grandchildren and great-grandchildren too. It’s time to make war history.