Letter: Lessons of war

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The Independent Culture
Sir. I am surprised at Roy Hattersley's easy dismissal of Journey's End.

The play presents a view of the First World War the psychological realism of which confirms and supports that of Hattersley's uncle. If Sherriff gives a romantic gloss to the picture of trench life, he does so only to show the desperation of men for whom, as Stanhope explains, that very romance was an attempt "to forget" the horror just a few steps from the dugout.

If Mr Hattersley is serious in his suggestion that we should forget the writings of those who - like Sherriff - served in the First World War, simply on the grounds that they were educated men who could spell, then he should consider the purpose of his own column, which moved me nearly as much as did my pupils' performance of Journey's End last week.


Head of Drama

Shrewsbury School