This morning we drove on to the old coal town of St Avold. Towards the end of the second world war this much-battered town served as a reception and processing centre for displaced people and refugees seeking to return to their homes. As such, it plays a cameo role in my magnum opus and I wanted to get a feel for the place. Nearby is the Lorraine American Cemetery, the largest second world war American cemetery in Europe. Some 11,000 American servicemen are buried here. These war cemeteries are a powerful and poignant visual argument against war, as well as a reminder of the sacrifices made by so many. Who could not be moved, gazing out at these massed ranks of the dead, most of them obscenely young, with lives before them that would never be lived?