‘Headless body found in topless bar’ is one of the best-lnown headlines in newspaper history. Written by Vincent Musetto for the New York Times in April 1983 it reported a gruesome Brooklyn muder by 23 year old Charlie Dingle; whilst snorting cocaine he killed a bar owner, took four hostages, raped a dancer, and then discovered that one of the hostages was a mortician. So he got her to cut off the bar-owner’s head with a steak knife (to get rid of the bullet that would tie the shooting to his gun). Hence ‘Headless body found in topless bar’.
The Somme is a metaphor for the horrors of war – it’s pointless mass destruction and death. That remains as true for us today as it has been throughout history. And it is usually the foot-soldiers who suffer the most – whether they be Roman slaves fighting for the Romans in the Somme area against the Gauls, or the Tommies/Jerries fighting in World War One. The Somme battle was from 1 July to 18 November 1916. More than one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history. On the first day, the British had 57,470 casualties.