Behind the lines by Hedley Malloch
03 Oct




Many British soldiers were trapped behind enemy lines in occupied northern France or Belgium. Some were caught and shot, others ended up in a PoW camp, but some escaped back to Great Britain. In this talk Hedley will tell some stories about their fates and of the French and Belgian people who helped them, often at great personal cost. These are tales of courage, endurance, betrayal and ingenuity. He will explain how the Germans managed this problem, why some fugitives were shot, but others were spared. Hedley will also cover the reaction of the Allies to these incidents, many of which were in violation of The Hague and Geneva Conventions.

Above: The memorial marking the grave of the Royal Munster Fusiliers officers killed on 27th August 1914, erected soon after the battle. Image courtesy of 


ABOUT Hedley 


A member of the WFA since 1990,Hedley is  a retired lecturer currently living in Nottinghamshire, having lived and worked in Lille, France for many years. Whilst living in Lille, Hedley became interested in the fate of those soldiers left behind the lines, including the 11 British soldiers taken in by the village of Iron, Aisne, who were eventually betrayed and shot by the Germans at Guise Château on 25 February 1915. You can find out more information about them and the villagers who helped them at the Iron Memorial website at

Chesterfield Labour Club, 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF
03 Oct 2023 19:30