A German military ambulance in Unmitigated England? Mein Gott! But it was at this year's English Heritage Festival of History. And I liked the photograph of it against a very English summer sky. OK, that's enough excuses. I leave it to my engineering-inclined commentators to discuss the various merits of the Opel Blitz as opposed to the Opel Blitzkreig, but I think what appeals is that it's over here at all. In a parade ground full of Roman legionaries, American troop carriers and ATS girls, this beautifully restored vehicle really stood out. It's driver was fully kitted-out in a feldgrau ambulance driver's uniform and The Boys used the back as a high vantage point to watch fighter planes helping out at a Normandy beach head. Who knows what terrible scenes this vehicle attended, but it's very presence in an English field says so much about how far we've come in our acceptance of the background details of history. The mists of over sixty years perhaps hide some of the horrors of war, but let us never forget the sacrifices that were made on both sides by air raid wardens, nurses, field cooks and, of course,ambulance drivers.
Great Marlborough Street, London
2 days ago