Michael Morpurgo, the author of children’s book ‘War Horse’ has claimed that the centenary anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War should in no way be celebrated, and that the encouragement of national pride and ‘flag-waving’ should not proceed. Instead, we should be wearing white poppies to mourn those who lost their lives fighting for their country. “And so we should wear, alongside our red poppy, a white poppy: not because we want to rub someone’s nose in anything, but we ought to be as sincere about our wish for peace as we are about our memory of those who didn’t come home.”
Asked whether he backed the government’s £50 million centenary plans, he said “If it makes us feel some sense of pride, then no. This was a holocaust of a war in which ten-million people died. It must in no way be celebrated.”
Britain’s celebrations of the war will take place over the next four years and are set to include a themed late-night prom, and musical theatre shows, as well as exhibitions and displays throughout the country.