Ever since I was small, I have been fascinated by military history, from the Crusades (something that began when we were in Cyprus and Israel in the 1950s), through the religious wars in Europe (where my interest began in Northern Ireland, again in the 1950s, and continued at Bryanston, where at times I created my own history course on religious and civil wars) and then the World Wars in which various family members had been embroiled, including my namesake John Elkington, the extraordinary Lieutenant Colonel whose dire misfortunes in 1916 are chronicled here, and after whom I was named.
At the same time, particularly since I was doing my M.Phil in city planning at UCL in the early 1970s, I have been fascinated by the collision and integration of old and new styles of building. Indeed, this was a key theme on my thesis, which landed me in much trouble when it came to the final assessment – the underlying message being at total odds with the approach of Lord Llewelyn Davies, who bestrode the institution at the time.
All of which made a couple of images in today’s Financial Times jump off the page. They showed details of Daniel Libeskind’s extension for the Military History Museum in Dresden, illustrating a piece by Marcus Binney.