As the sad anniversaries of battles in World War I roll by, and as we now head into a war caused, as wars always are, by the stupidity of politicians, perhaps we should take a moment to think of how we remember those who died in these wars.
Not with the pompous statues and empty mottoes of former times, not with the teddy bears and hashtags and coloured floodlights and easy tears of today, but properly. To respect them we need to know who they were and what they did.
Hyde Park Corner in London is a place of war memorials, old and new. It takes its present form from Wellington's victory at Waterloo, after which he was given a fine new mansion, Apsley House, with a view over memorials commemorating his achievement. There is a colossal arch topped with a bronze statue of the Goddess of Victory driving a four-horse chariot, and a conventional equestrian statue of the Duke staring into the front windows where the real Duke would have been looking out at his effigy, probably with wry amusement as he was not a pompous man.
The statue is given a human, and interesting, touch by four figures at the corners, realistic sculptures of soldiers of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Remembering ordinary fighting men, rather than their leaders, was something new.