Wednesday, 29 May 2013
Shot at dawn
This very moving memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum commemorates the 306 British and Commonwealth soldiers who were shot for desertion or cowardice during World War I. There is a wooden stake set in the earth for each one of them. Today it is recognised that most of them were underage boys and suffering from shell-shock, but at the time they were condemned and only given a brief summary trial with little opportunity to defend themselves. In 2006 they were formally given a posthumous pardon. The statue, by Andy Decomyn, is modelled on Private Herbert Burden, 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, who was shot at Ypres aged 17.