Went the Day Well?

I have had a quote in my head for some time and often wondered about its source. Occasionally, I would ask of the deputies in school, ‘Went the day well?’, not knowing where I had first come across it. Then, on Tuesday in the Times, through a kind of Galilean serendipity, there it was – an epitaph written by the classical scholar John Maxwell Edmonds published in the Times in February, 1918.

“Went the day well?

We died and never knew.

But well or ill, Freedom, we died for you.”

How appropriate my find, in a week which saw the deaths of three more British soldiers in Afghanistan. May they rest in peace.

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