If ever a song encapsulated the exploitation of patriotism and the horror of war it is Eric Bogle's: And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda.
My dad fought in the 14-18 war. He was invalided out after being wounded. He was lucky, as he completely recovered. Others of course didn't fare so well, as I discovered when I started work. Being severely traumatised, they were treated with circumspection by their workmates.
Even non-combatants suffered. A woman who lived across the road from us got shell-shock from the bombing in our neighbourhood. She shook all the time like she was being electrocuted. We lived close to an armaments factory, so we were the unintended recipients of off-target bombing.
As my dad said, it was all a futile exercise, fighting for months over a single hill that each side would win only to then lose again at more cost of lives. All for what? It's no wonder he was so cynical about governments.