Despite claiming to be a historian when I think of Agincourt it is always this speech that I come back to, and if I am honest with some very real pride. However, if you click here you will get a different view in Martin Kettle’s article (this weekend marks the 600th anniversary of the battle) in The Guardian.
He is really making two pints. Firstly he suggests “Agincourt should not be a source of pride or any other emotion. We today are not the victors of Agincourt. As 21st-century Britons we no more own the victory at Agincourt than we have responsibility for the slaughter of the French captives after the battle.”
He then continues by considering Remembrance, stating “at some point in the future, we will begin to let go of these rituals. One day, the head of state will no longer lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in November for the long-distant dead. One day, MPs and TV newsreaders will not feel the press of obligation to wear poppies on all public appearances or else risk charges of being unpatriotic from newspapers owned by tax exiles.”
It is a provocative article, read it and see what you think.
If you want to know more about Agincourt you might like explore the Agincourt 600 website. Below is an excellent documentary on the battle, and in this article Dr Sean McGlynn argues that there were nine medieval battles more significant than it.