Search results for Desertion.

1 October 1917 : Private Ernest Mackness


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 w...

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


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 use...

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


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


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 excuse...

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


Andrea Hetherington talks about her research into soldiers who deserted in Britain during the Great War. Your browser does not support the audio element. Image: Parliamentary Recruiting Committee Poster No.125. (c) IWM PSY 0314

The King Crater Incident and the Courts Martial : November / December 1916


The Bantam Division is the stuff of legend. Its correct military designation was 35th Division but it was associated with the eponymous fighting cock because its twelve infantry battalions were composed of short but robust, tough soldiers. They were raised in a blaze of publicity in 1914, embodied as a division in 1915, joined the British Expedi...

The Search for Daniel Lightfoot


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 di...

"Courts Martial & The Essex Regiment" a presentation by Jim Kevany


After a break that none of us wanted we are pleased to let you know that we are resuming our branch meetings on Wednesday 8th of September. This will of course be subject to any changes the Government's pandemic response.  This talk is by Branch member Jim Kevany. To provide extra safety we are moving into the Bar area at the Village Hall, where...