Summer Shorts 14 – Longevity 1914. A Fateful Year.

One hundred years ago. A fateful year. It all began in the middle of that summer.


Off to war, the average life expectancy of a young officer fighting in the trenches was six weeks.

My grandfather was 17 that summer in the fateful year. He beat the odds (injured and gassed in battle) and lived to age 75. All fates considered it was a lucky thing for his sons, grand and great grandchildren living in 2014.

There are just over 13,000 people over 100 living in the UK right now who were but children back then.

Across the world memorials are abound with volumes of stories to read  – and remarkable it is to discover that we are them, ever living a fateful year.

(The Fateful Year, England 1914 by Mark Bostridge; Penguin 2014)


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