This poor soul pushing his earthly possessions in a cart
I got these figures nearly fifteen years ago, painted them a little after and only finished basing them recently. At the time they were used to represent Dutch and Belgian civilians fleeing in 1940. I have always felt the need to include civilians in my games, not out of any misplaced sense of guilt, but because it forces one to think about the reality one is recreating on the table.
When I was a small boy, I saw a documentary called "The World at War" which was voiced by Sir Laurence Olivier. I remember it being very good, but otherwise little more about it, but one line in particular stayed with me. The episode concerned the end of the war and the vast dislocation and hunger that covered most of Europe at the time. There was footage, I think of German prisoners of war, and food was being thrown at them. Olivier was talking about how those born after the war will not really understand what they were seeing and said "Remember that is a real man scrabbling for a potato."
An elderly couple helping each other & a lone woman
I don't agonise over the conflicts I represent on the tabletop. It is after all a form of entertainment, of vicarious living, albeit quite a staid one. I doubt Mrs Kinch worries about the victims poisoned, stabbed and shot in her Midsomer Murders. I rarely people the empty villages and towns my troops fight over, but it would seem unjust not to give their inhabitants some scrap of the stage from time to time.
Thankfully this is not a real man scrabbling for a potato.