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Lancashire Fusilier

Shot at dawn - British WW1 Military Executions.

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dycer

George,

Your uncle did his duty to his Country, his Regiment, his comrades, and to himself.

The photograph is of an historical artifact, and it will certainly have a different meaning to different people, it does however have a direct link to the subject matter of this thread, and was/is part of WW1 history.

The text was in fact taken, as I understand it, from a " Guided Tour " of WW1 places of historical interest, and I am sure that some members will have visited the location as part of such a tour.

LF

LF,

When,in France,and my time allows, subject to my Wife.

I choose to visit both Sailly-sur-La-Lys Church with "its" WW1 "British" WW1 and WW2 plot, and the "Arras Memorial".

George

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dycer

LF,

I feel, my previous reply, to you was curt and may not fully express my feelings about the Subject you legitimately raise on the Forum.

Most Forum members can identify a forebear who served,in the military during WW1,survived,was killed,earned gallantry medals,etc.

Very few Forum members,however,have the strength of character,to say their forebear was one of those "Shot at Dawn".

I pose this question to you,fellow Forum Members but also me.If WW1 was to happen again would "We" have the fortitude to do our duty or "crumble"?

To close this post on a positive? note,a film I recommend you watch is "For King and Country"(I'm sure fellow members will correct me if I've got the title wrong or offer more details about the Film itself :D )

There is no question that the Film has its historical faults but it at least tries to give an objective insight into the subject you raise and was felt worthy enough for me to see, as a teenager, when it was first released,in the company of my Father, who had lost two Brothers during WW1 and as a post-WW1 Policeman dealt with immediate civilian consequences.

Best wishes

George

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Lancashire Fusilier

LF,

I feel, my previous reply, to you was curt and may not fully express my feelings about the Subject you legitimately raise on the Forum.

Most Forum members can identify a forebear who served,in the military during WW1,survived,was killed,earned gallantry medals,etc.

Very few Forum members,however,have the strength of character,to say their forebear was one of those "Shot at Dawn".

I pose this question to you,fellow Forum Members but also me.If WW1 was to happen again would "We" have the fortitude to do our duty or "crumble"?

To close this post on a positive? note,a film I recommend you watch is "For King and Country"(I'm sure fellow members will correct me if I've got the title wrong or offer more details about the Film itself :D )

There is no question that the Film has its historical faults but it at least tries to give an objective insight into the subject you raise and was felt worthy enough for me to see, as a teenager, when it was first released,in the company of my Father, who had lost two Brothers during WW1 and as a post-WW1 Policeman dealt with immediate civilian consequences.

Best wishes

George

George,

Many thanks for the reply, and in no way whatsoever was your response curt. I understood that you had a point of view on this particularly topic, and were expressing that view, and I have enjoyed reading your responses. I shall certainly try to watch " For King and Country ".

Kind regards,

LF

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Skipman

Thought this was as good a place as any to add this

Mike

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Lancashire Fusilier

Thought this was as good a place as any to add this

Mike

Mike,

Very poignant, and very hard to comprehend in 2012.

LF

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Chris_Baker

LF, the whole Great War is hard to comprehend in 2012.

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Stoppage Drill

It's the Dyer case, as will be widely recognised.

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SiegeGunner

Not Dyer but Dyett — Sub Lt Edwin Dyett.

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seaforths

Two links that might be of interest (apologies if they were covered earlier) as I think in an earlier post LF didn't have a link that listed all of the cemeteries concerned - here is one:

http://ww1cemeteries.com/othercemeteries/shotatdawnlist.htm

There is also a list of those commemorated on the memorial here:

http://www.shotatdawn.info/page59.html

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Mark Hone

Returning to the question of the execution post at Poperinge. Whatever the discussion about its provenance, what exactly has happened to it? It is not on display any more in the courtyard of Poperinge Town Hall, as depicted in Post 93. As I discovered when I visited last month it has been replaced by a metallic facsimile. The bullet-marked brick wall has also been removed and a symbolic steel structure now stands in its place. The display has gone through various changes over the years but the wooden post (whether encased in a plastic sleeve or not) has always been there. Does anyone know the fate of the original?

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Mark Hone

Just bumping this up , as I'm still curious about the fate of the original post and the brick wall. I note that the current issue of 'Britain at War' magazine has an article about the site complete with ' before and after' photographs of the earlier display and its replacement but it sheds no light on the mystery.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Here is a link to the place you refer to with the changes you mentioned. Looks like the have stuccod over the brick.

http://www.webmatter...ndex.php?id=511

Eddy,

Many thanks, an excellent link.

Regards,

LF

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Mark Hone

On the photograph on the linked page the original wooden post is still there inside its plastic sleeve. This has now been repaced with a metallic facsimile. I repeat my original question-what have they done with the wooden post?

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LinaMoffitt

I don't understand why it is necessary for anyone to get hot under the collar about anything on this forum. Nor arrogant by their perceived superior knowledge. It seems most people are sharing information with good intent, so why can't some of you accept it as that. We wouldn't want to turn away members or intending members would we? Life is a mirror anyway so what you see in someone else you don't like is something you have unresolved within yourself.

Lina

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nigelcave

Mark,

I think that the only solution is to ask the authorities in Pop. I assume, possibly naively, that there must be some coherent reason for the removal. Whilst on the subject of Pop there is a considerable renovation of the Pop Old MC going on at the moment - it looks like a rebuild of the entrance 'gate'.

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rickpreston@nasuwt.net

Charity in all cases is what is needed when one see a posting. There are all sorts of depth of skills in members both in the use of computers and the knowledge of the I st WW. It is vitally important that all members respect each other contribution so that the site does not become the few knowledgeable ones whos purity is whiter that white.. I have always been delighted with the answers i have got from members whose knowledge is far greater than mine.

We are all on the learning curve, some of us at the very botton. Have charity

thank you for your patience

RICHARD

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djakacg

I may be wrong but I have just watched the village on bbc1 and the school teacher was sentenced to death,however i am not sure this would have been so as he was not in theatre and would not eveenhave undertaken basic training. could anyone clarify this for me

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John_Hartley

I've given up on The Village so don't know what's been portrayed but you're right that military death sentences were only available for men on overseas service.

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djakacg

he was a conscientious objector(forgive my spelling) who was still in his home village

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MichaelBully

Hello Tod,

was not paying close attention to 'The Village' but I thought that the soldiers told the teacher that he was sentenced to death.....then after a pause, said this what happend to ( name and regiment was given) who failed to obey orders. The implication being that refusal to put on a uniform when ordered to so would make the teacher liable to be shot.

I always thought that a soldier who refused to put on a uniform in the barracks would be more likely to be taken to court, and if found guilty , would be sentenced to a term of hard labour. But the implication was that the teacher was going to be scared into co-operating.

Regards

Michael Bully

I may be wrong but I have just watched the village on bbc1 and the school teacher was sentenced to death,however i am not sure this would have been so as he was not in theatre and would not eveenhave undertaken basic training. could anyone clarify this for me

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djakacg

many thanks its an area i have never really thought about, I didn't know that not all sentances were carried out until i read this thread , i just asumed that was that for the unfortunate souls convicted,it just shows how wrong we can be

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Magnumbellum

Was not paying close attention to 'The Village', but I thought that the soldiers told the teacher that he was sentenced to death.....then, after a pause, said this what happened to (name and regiment was given) who failed to obey orders. The implication being that refusal to put on a uniform when ordered to do so would make the teacher liable to be shot.

I always thought that a soldier who refused to put on a uniform in the barracks would be more likely to be taken to court, and, if found guilty, would be sentenced to a term of hard labour. But the implication was that the teacher was going to be scared into co-operating.

I have already dealt with this episode on the thread devoted to The Village, but, for the avoidance of doubt, I will repeat here that the conscientious objector episode of the series was the most crassly inaccurate so far. A CO who refused to comply with a notice to report for enlistment at a particular barracks or camp on a particular day was reported to the local police, who sent a civilian constable to arrest the man and bring him before the local magistrates' court. Upon being satisfied that the man was indeed a defaulter in reporting to the military, the magistrates fined him and handed him over to a waiting military escort, who took him to the place where he was supposed to report.

There were instances of mock "death sentences" being read out to COs and of irregular forcible dressing of COs in uniform, but these all took place within military establishments, not in private houses or public places.

There were no instances of soldiers being sent directly to COs' homes to arrest them, and there was no power for them to do so.

A CO forcibly taken to a camp or barracks in the manner indicated usually refused the first formal order given, which was often to put on a uniform. This led to a court-martial, usually resulting in imprisonment, often with hard labour.

There were 42 COs improperly shipped to France, where 35 of them were formally sentenced to death, but immediately reprieved, with commutation to ten years penal servitude,

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Magnumbellum

Many thanks - it's an area i have never really thought about. I didn't know that not all sentences were carried out until i read this thread - I just assumed that was that for the unfortunate souls convicted, it just shows how wrong we can be.

Just as, when capital punishment was applicable in civilian criminal courts, by no means everyone sentenced to death was actually executed, so by no means all military death sentences were carried out.

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Derek Black

Private R. Hope, 1st Bn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, executed for desertion 05/07/1917, Plot 3. G. 12.

LF.

I was surprised to come across this account of an execution for desertion in a newspaper from 1916, i had thought executions of soldiers was hushed up at the time?

It was as the result of a question in parliament by an Irish M.P.

"The execution of a British deserter is referred to in Friday's Parliamentary papers.

Mr Tennant (Under-Secretary for War) informs Mr Farrell that Private T. Hope, of the 2nd Battalion Leinster Regiment, was tried by field general court-martial on February 14th, 1915, on a charge of desertion and other minor charges. The evidence showed that he absented himself from the trenches on December 23rd until February 9th, when he was arrested.

It is well known (states Mr Tennant) to all soldiers that desertion in the face of the enemy is liable to be punished by death. Private Hope was informed of his sentence more than 12 hours before it was carried out. The sentence was passed on February 14th, and was most carefully reviewed before it was confirmed by the Commander-in-Chief on February 27th.

It is obvious, he adds, that counsel cannot be employed on courts-martial which take place in the field.

The accused called no evidence such as Mr Farrell refered to (Mr Farrell had asked whether it was brought to the notice of the Court that on several occasions Hope had exposed himself gallantly in trench warfare), nor was any such evidence before the Court."

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