Well done to the Gazette for making the first world war a main feature of the 4 August edition; anything less would have been a dereliction of duty. I was so saddened to read the stories of lawyers in the war. To think how the towns and shires must have been emptied of their youth, and young women’s lives resigned to ammunition factories and widowhood.

Solicitors and barristers did their bit for king and country, sometimes in disturbing courts-martial against their own. These horrors must have shaped their view of justice.

In the poorly paid realm of legal aid and public interest work, it is important for new recruits to sign up to the ideals of challenging injustice and maintaining the peace – seldom are these guardians paid in gold. However, it is their examples that are honoured through the ages. More needs to be done to encourage and highlight this branch of work, instead of the page upon page of commercial firms with giant pay incentives taking the cream of the crop.

Access to justice remains a fundamental objective for the legal system in this country, forever strengthened by the experiences of the first world war, and is ever more necessary with the present cuts to legal aid.

Ravinder Singh Chumber, Rashid & Co Solicitors, Birmingham