Claude Choules died yesterday aged 110, he was the last surviving combatant of the First World War.
WW1 is something that has always had a resonance for me, as a youngster hearing stories from already very old men who were there, some bearing the scars, several eyepatches and odd shaped ears come to mind as well as missing limbs, but also as a high school student where a year of studying the war got me an A in higher history.
I always fought to understand the reasons, the motivation, the mechanics and the scale of it. Also the dismay that we learned nothing from such a colossla loss of life but how to fight big wars more efficiently.
With Claude Choules passing the Great War becomes a thing purely of books and photographs, of opinion and interpretation, it really is history now and as such has a distance from our lives. I find that a little melancholy.