The victims of war pollution




There has been much rot written and broadcast about remembering the 1st world war, for some reason due to the roundness of the year 100.  The start of the hostilities between a group of aristocrats belonging to the same royal dynasty may well be a memorable marker in history, but we have been bombarded with programmes, ceramic poppies and advert tales galore and we are only in year one of the commemorations. Most of it is in aid of selling something on the back of it, and quite frankly I’ve had enough of “remembrance” , in fact it’s starting to piss me off totally.

A media and political elite appear to cast anyone who does not support tales of warmongering as unpatriotic , and their mantra now borders on religious fervour to the point of crafted ceremony involving marches, parades, unveiling of plaques, planting of trees, remembrance services- no longer a twice a year event, but a 24/7 365 day a year  industry. Always the victors get to write the story of the war, most often for politicians to con young men into fighting their foreign wars under the recruiting sergeant  “HERO”.

I have looked on this blog about much of the trite rubbish written by Albright and Wilson apologists concerning their Second World war record, and exaggerated importance, but there is another whole earlier chapter in the history of the company concerning their production of weapons in the 1914-18 conflict. We will look at this in the future perhaps.

The 1st world war was a waste of lives, and  was nothing to do with freedom nor fighting tyranny- that is the victor’s narrative.  In the aftermath, the victims continued after the hostilities ended- shell shock , gassed victims and even those shot for cowardice, totally forgotten till well into the 20th Century. But there were other victims and haunting stories of those who never went to war at all, but for whom the war came home to kill and maim them.  One event in the Tividale area, is less well known or commemorated than tales of “packing up your troubles in your old kit bag” and rows of indistinguishable gravestones.

The best telling of it can be read HERE  amongst many other industrial accidents in the black country area. But this was not really an “accident” at all but manslaughter on the part of John Knowles, whose enterprise of avarice saw young girls employed to break up wartime rifle ammunition. The pollution aspect of this was bad enough, that  individuals were exposed to such toxic materials without any ppe, but the notion that the spent material was just dumped into the canal beggars belief. One wonders if some of it may well still be there!

This conman and child killer was one of many rogues that exploited child labour. 19 died that day in a massive explosion, the war had returned from the fields of France and rocked Tividale and Tipton, robbing its youth. A blue plaque in Groveland Road marks the area near to the factory and a memorial in Tipton Cemetery records the loss and the ages of those that perished.







2 Kings 4:26


Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.


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