One of the most impressive books I read as an impressionable teenager was Erich Maria Remarque’s treatise on the brutality and human waste of war, All Quiet on the Western Front.

Who would have thunk it, as they say, that 60 years later, I would be at the Somme for the centenary of the battle that the Diggers won to break the bloody Western Front stalemate; a battle that led to the German surrender at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month to end the war that supposedly would end all wars.