Britain to pardon WWI soldiers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Quigley_Sharps, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    LONDON - British soldiers who were executed by the military for cowardice during World War I will be pardoned, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday, following a lengthy campaign by the family of one such soldier.

    Defense Secretary Des Browne said the government would seek parliamentary approval to issue pardons for the 306 soldiers who were executed.

    The decision comes after a public effort by the family of a 25-year-old Pvt. Harry Farr who was shot by firing squad in 1916 after he refused to return to the frontlines.

    Relatives, who have battled for decades to clear Farr's name, said their lawyers had received the news from the government.

    "We are over the moon," said Farr's granddaughter, Janet Booth.

    The decision is part of a wider decision to seek pardons for more than soldiers who were executed for cowardice during World War I, the Defense Ministry said.

    Farr was shot at dawn in October 1916. Many of those executed are believed to have been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of trench warfare.

    The government has expressed regret for the executions in recent years, but has rejected several campaigns to have the soldiers officially pardoned, arguing it is no longer possible to determine their guilt or innocence.

    Farr's daughter, Gertrude Harris, went to the High Court last year to press the case for a pardon, arguing that Farr had been diagnosed as suffering from shell shock a year before he was executed.

    "I am so relieved that this ordeal is now over and I can be content knowing that my father's memory is intact," 93-year-old Harris said in a statement.

    "I hope that others now who had brave relatives who were shot by their own side will now get the pardons they equally deserve," she said.

    More than 703,000 British soldiers were killed in World War I, while 1.6 million were wounded.
  2. fuzzy

    fuzzy Monkey+++

    a little late ain't it?
  3. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Soon, coming to a Army near you....
  4. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    My thoughts exactly. They should dig em' up and have a ceremony.
  5. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Granddad, at 93 this should be the least of your worries.
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    DAMN!! Either they were traitors or they were not. A pardon just because it's been a long time gripes me no end.:mad:
  7. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Comes with an official letter that says " Sorry ole chaps we used your relative as cannon fodder in war we had no business being in to start with, but, hey......that's how it goes !

    God save the Queen and the Bank of England !"
  8. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    So you think now that they have their pardons they'll get back up? Or do you think the Queen Mum will have a tear in her eye while chowing down on her tea cakes in the garden?

    Exactly what I say. It's a little too late for apologies and pardons. Right or wrong, this will be taken care of in the afterlife. Strange ways to spend money and time. If they have the 'Dig 'em Up' Ceremony I want an invitation. :D

    Government at it's very finest. Haha.
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