November 11th is Armistice Day and I thought I would write about an aspect of WW1 which is often forgotten, the sad stories of those who were shot by their own side.
Over 300 Commonwealth soldiers were shot at dawn, a euphamism for being executed by their own side with 291 of them being British, 25 Canadian, 5 New Zealanders and 4 from the West Indies.
For decades there was a campaign to have these men pardoned. Many of them were executed due to cowardice, this being decades before the concept of post traumatic stress disorder had even been thought-of let alone become generally accepted though some more liberal carers had coined the phrase ‘Shell-shock’.
Men who had become empty shells and gibbering wrecks would go through a trial where the conclusion was almost known in advance. No sympathy was shown and the suffering and mental anguish they must have gone…
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