Search results for Desertion.

1 October 1917 : Private Ernest Mackness

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Ernest lost his life on 1 October 1917 not in combat, but in front of a firing squad. Mackness, a regular soldier aged 25, was under a suspended death sentence when he went absent on 22 August 1917 as his battalion moved into trenches at Nieuport. No doubt it was a combination of his existing suspended sentence and the fact that his battalion wa…


Discipline in the BEF: An analysis of executions in British Divisions 1914-1918

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It is well recorded that despite a dubious disciplinary record, Australian troops were amongst the most effective of those available to Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig. [1] This observation is at odds with the example of the Guards Division which also had a favourable reputation, but whose discipline was strict.[2] It is therefore potentially useful…


Two men with five names: The Curious Case of Cornelius Costello

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The image of the headstone below - which is in Dover (St James's) Cemetery - is perhaps not terribly unusual. It names an unknown sailor of HMS Glatton and another sailor - Cornelius Costello who 'served as' a stoker on HMS Glatton. The headstone is somewhat odd in that it does not give the name that Costello served under - this is revealed by his …


8 January 1917: PTE James Tongue

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Pte 11850 J. Tongue of the 1st King's Liverpool Regiment was executed after a trial for desertion, the execution taking place between 6.30 and 7.45 am at Brailly on 8 January 1917. 'The case is a bad one' wrote the commander of the Fifth Army. 'I am unable to concur in the view that a man who has been passed fit for General Service can be excused …


Ep. 151 – Desertion in the UK during WW1 – Andrea Hetherington

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Andrea Hetherington talks about her research into soldiers who deserted in Britain during the Great War.

Image: Parliamentary Recruiting Committee Poster No.125. (c) IWM PSY 0314


The Search for Daniel Lightfoot

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The search began with the war memorial on the wall of a former pub, the Dog & Partridge, 5 Hot Lane, Burslem, which was opposite my primary school and at the back of the brickworks where my father worked.  I have known it virtually all my life. Only when my friend Mick Rowson and I decided to compile a Great War Roll of Honour for Burslem did I…