To dare stand up and speak out against the war was to guarantee demonization, calumniation, and anathematization. Worse, it also guaranteed your arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment.
Whether right or wrong, it's extremely uncommon in Ireland to see anyone wearing a poppy, commemorating those who died while serving in the British Army. If one were to ask why, an initial response could be that it is a British custom and not an Irish one.
This month, Europe remembers its fallen soldiers lost during a century and a half of terrible conflict. Not long ago, the millions who watched the remembrance ceremony at the Cenotaph in London saw for the last time veterans of the First World War, their numbers dwindling and faces receding into history
With true free speech has to come an understanding of when and when not to use it. But you can't legislate that. It must be voluntary - especially in a world where a whisper can reach a million people in an eyeblink.
I'm sure many soldiers had opposition to the arguments politicians were making when they were being shot to pieces in horrible battlefields. But that's not what Remembrance Day is about; it's a neutral showing of respect for those who have died in conflicts, whether or not the conflicts themselves were agreed with.
Daniel Cooper, as acting President of the University of London Union (ULU), has brought shame on himself and the 120 000 students he is supposed to represent by refusing to place a wreath on their behalf at a remembrance service in London last Sunday.
There are not many things I dislike about living in London. Of course, the weather could be better sometimes; transport could definitely be improved upon; and an increase in the living wage would help most ordinary Londoners. But the one day of the year I have come to absolutely loathe and despise in over a decade of living in this great city is Remembrance Sunday.
Despite opposition to the Afghanistan mission, the public holds their Armed Forces in high esteem and understands what is potentially at stake in the campaign. We can therefore be fairly confident that on this Remembrance Sunday, the efforts of the UK's Armed Forces troops, and those we have lost, will continue to be warmly remembered, and appreciated, by the British public.
The sight of politicians, the royal family and various other members of the nation's ruling class laying wreaths at the cenotaph to commemorate the deaths and slaughter of the untold thousands of working class men, used as cannon fodder to maintain the class privileges which they and theirs enjoy, is truly an act of sickening hypocrisy to behold.
We need to do far more in identifying problems earlier such as ensuring mandatory mental health assessments as part of the discharge process and funding specialist support workers for veterans. They deserve better than relying on volunteers shaking buckets in Cardiff Airport at 5am.
The use of the poppy was inspired by the World War I poem 'In Flanders Fields'. It refers to the many poppies that were the first flowers to grow in the churned-up earth of soldiers' graves in Flanders, a region of Europe that overlies parts of Belgium, France, and the Netherlands.
Rather than wearing a poppy, if we really want to remember the dead, then why don't we stop engaging in new wars? Why don't we stop occupying other countries? Why don't we stop bombing and killing children?
I wrote to the British Legion about this last year, but received no reply. Collection boxes identical to those used last year have now arrived on our doorstep. So I'll have to try again in the hopes that they'll redesign it in time for next year's poppy appeal.
Do I support the Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) planned 'surprise' intended to disrupt the two minute silence on Armistice Day? No. Do I support their burning of poppies while chanting "British soldiers burn in hell"? No.
Why has a mark of respect, a renunciation of death and a wish for peace, slipped into the realm of national identity, that which causes most of the dispute in the world? Accrediting the poppy with a national status has given ammunition to those who can't abide our country.
Do not be fooled into thinking that just because you have a poppy pinned to your lapel it automatically makes you a better person; my bet is that the majority of poppy wearers do not spare a seconds thought for the armed forces outside of November.