Coope Boyes and Simpson are angry and cynical: "Politicians will wave flags. It's easy to get into the pomp and glory of it, but we have to say what happened and why."
In previous wars these men would have died but the medical advances of the early twentieth century ensured that more and more of these men were able to live.
Let’s be honest, says David Berry, the first world war is a global canvas of arrogance, brutality and stupidity that puts other wars—before or since—in the shade.
The government has come under fire for its costly plans to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the first world war in 2014. Historian Hew Strachan and novelist AL Kennedy debate the issue