The men who had millions of lives in their hands

In the commemorations of World War One there have been many stories from the descendants of those caught up in momentous and awful events.

These personal accounts, remembering the faces in grainy photographs and names on headstones, are usually of ordinary soldiers who fought in the trenches.

But a ceremony in London this week brought together descendants of two of the most iconic commanders from the war, the decision-makers whose orders sent millions into battle.

This latest war commemorations mark the point 100 years ago when a French marshal, Ferdinand Foch, was made supreme allied commander on the Western Front.

Image caption Haig and Foch worked together on the Western Front, with Foch appointed supreme commander in 1918

His great-grandson, Eric Becourt-Foch, was at the ceremony along with Lord Astor, grandson of one of most famous figures of the war, Field Marshal Douglas Haig.

The ancestors of these two men sent colossal armies into battle, with casualties on a scale not seen before or since. They literally had the fates of millions of lives in their hands.

Were they distant from the suffering of the front-line soldiers?

Mr Becourt-Foch said his…

Continue Reading This Article At BBC News


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