This is Matthew Thornton, aged twenty eight, of the 4th Yorkshire Battalion. He was from Barnsley and died two days ago in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Blown to bits by an IED. He was the 385th British soldier to die there during the present military adventure that has also seen the premature deaths of 1648 young Americans. Can anybody tell me why?
On the eleventh day of the eleventh month we remember them all. Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn. But how many more young men must die before the so-called "leaders" on both sides realise that the route to peace in Afghanistan is not via the IED or the bullet but through difficult discussion, hard won understanding and painful compromise? Haven't we learnt anything?