Harry Gunther died an unnecessary death. Pedants, pacifists, and peaceniks may wring their hands and preach that all deaths from war are unnecessary but not only do adults know better, but there’s a line of thought that describing war with such artificially inflated solemnity is actually harmful to the morale and camaraderie of our forces.
Ignoring the wrong-headed idea that war is wrong as a matter of course, war should end when agreeable terms are met and agreeable terms were met before Harry Gunther was killed in the course of his duty.
The date of the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month was chosen in advance to end the Great War, because the powers that be thought it would be poetic.
That the War to End All Wars would end on such a date would be neat.
They could have ended the war immediately upon agreeing to each other’s terms at the meeting, but they didn’t. It wasn’t poetic enough.
They could have saved lives, but they chose to be poetic, instead.
And that’s all you need to really know about politicians.
Say what you will about the first World War being inevitable or even vital to the interests of governments and empires. Perhaps the deaths of millions in the carnal house of war was a worthwhile crucible for the whole of Europe. Harry Gunther, among many others, died because the diplomats and so-called peacemakers decided that prolonging the conflict would be more interesting in the retelling.