Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.
In this week of remembrance, not much to say except read it and weep.
Quite possibly the finest cartoon of all time, created by the Australian illustrator Will Dyson in 1919.
First some background on this desperately sad four act tragedy.
Act One: The June-July Crisis of 1914, commencing with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on June 28 1914 followed by a series of miscalculations and inept brinkmanship leading to the outbreak of war in August 1914. So baffled were the participants at this terrible outcome it is reported that Prince Bulow, the former German Chancellor, asked the then Chancellor Bethman-Hollweg, "How did it all happen?" to which Bethman-Hollweg replied, "Ah, if only one knew." The British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, all too aware of its implications, lamented "The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time."
Act Two: World War One 1914-1918 costing 16.5 million lives.
Act Three: The Treaty of Versailles in 1919 where the victorious and deeply vengeful Allies were intent on "squeezing Germany until the pips squeaked" committed Germany to vast war reparation payments which eventually led to the economy of Germany collapsing in the 1920s and ultimately to the rise of Adolf Hitler.
Intermission: The Great Depression 1929-1939
Act Four: World War Two 1939-1945 costing 65 million lives.
Will Dyson, Australian illustrator and political cartoonist, drew what was to become one of the most celebrated and widely-reproduced of all cartoons, entitled "Peace and Future Cannon Fodder" and astonishing in its uncanny foresight. Published in the British Daily Herald on 13 May 1919, it showed David Lloyd George, Vittorio Orlando and Georges Clemenceau (the Prime Ministers of Britain, Italy and France respectively), together with Woodrow Wilson, the President of the United States, emerging after a meeting at Versailles to discuss the Peace Treaty. Clemenceau, who was identified by his nickname "The Tiger", is saying to the others: "Curious! I seem to hear a child weeping!". And there, behind a pillar, is a child in tears; it is labelled "1940 Class". [Wikipedia]
Epilogue, written by Confucius (551 - 479 BCE):
"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves" and "When anger rises, think of the consequences."