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    Am I being too cynical about this or does the children of the rich/upper class/landed gentry/ruling elite fight on the frontline. WW1 survivors come across as average working class people. Would WW1, the most pointless war in history fought over such trivial matters, have happened if the ruling classes kids were going to be sent to Flanders to be gunned down at the rate of 5 for every inch of land advanced on.
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    Well, the lower class people vastly outnumber the upper class people, which seems a reasonable explanation.
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    no. The rich man gets even richer, as a consequence of wars.
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    (Original post by Fusion)
    Am I being too cynical about this or does the children of the rich/upper class/landed gentry/ruling elite fight on the frontline. WW1 survivors come across as average working class people. Would WW1, the most pointless war in history fought over such trivial matters, have happened if the ruling classes kids were going to be sent to Flanders to be gunned down at the rate of 5 for every inch of land advanced on.
    Yes.
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    (Original post by Fusion)
    Am I being too cynical about this or does the children of the rich/upper class/landed gentry/ruling elite fight on the frontline. WW1 survivors come across as average working class people. Would WW1, the most pointless war in history fought over such trivial matters, have happened if the ruling classes kids were going to be sent to Flanders to be gunned down at the rate of 5 for every inch of land advanced on.
    Of course not - that is why I'm always hesitant about this "we must remember" thing - I feel it legitimizes what happened.
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    The middle/upper classes mostly formed the officer ranks during WWI. I'd wager that proportionally the same amount of upper/middle class people died in that conflict as the working class, although I can't be sure.
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    (Original post by Crimson Black)
    The middle/upper classes mostly formed the officer ranks during WWI. I'd wager that proportionally the same amount of upper/middle class people died in that conflict as the working class, although I can't be sure.
    I would love to take you up on this.
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    Plenty of wealthy people suffered in the wars. The site of my local war memorial was donated by a local lord from his estate in memory of the two sons he lost. Far from atypical.
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    Three things:

    a) there are more 'poor' people than 'rich' people

    b) when conscription was used, the rich could buy their way out of it. Also, going into the military was percieved as a way for the unemployed and destitute to find a way out.

    c) Those who were wealthy in the military could buy commissions and thus climb the ranks. However, being an officer (certainly, up to about Major) didn't stop you being at the front line. The very best officers went over/out with their men, instead of sending the men over/out ahead. However, some would hang back and the higher ranks were (to an extent) expected to command from afar, rather than muck in with the men.

    d) These days, there is a huge range of people in the military. Those with an education can become officers, but in the 'ranks' there is a great mix of the rich and poor. You can no longer buy commissions, unless one wishes to consider bribery and blackmail.
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    'The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton' and all that...

    Plenty of rich people have died in war, I'll chuck Rudyard Kipling's son into the thread here as an example.
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    Macmillan lost so many of his fellow students during the war that afterwards he refused to return to Oxford, saying the university would never be the same.

    All classes suffered horrendous losses in the war.
 
 
 
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