On one side or the other we take our stand

On 24 October 1954, a memorial to the Eighth Army was unveiled at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in the desert near the railway station at El Alamein. Field-Marshal the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein gave an address, which he summed up by saying:

“There are things in this world which are true and things that are false; there are ways that are right and ways that are wrong; there are good men and bad men. And on one side or the other we take our stand; one or the other we must serve…We can only secure a better world, and abolish war, by having better men and women; there is no other way and no short cut.”

When he awoke on morning in late February 1976, Montgomery said that he had had a very bad night. “I can’t have long to go now,” he explained. “I’ve got to go and meet God- and explain all those men I killed at Alamein.” During the night of 24 March, he died. (Bungay 237).


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