Thursday, August 17, 2006

Lincs Soldier Shot at Dawn

Lincolnshire men are among the First World War soldiers given formal pardons this week by the Government, 90 years after being shot at dawn.

Private Charles Kirman of the Lincolnshire Regiment was executed for going absent without leave - yet he had previously fought in two of bloodiest battles of the War - Mons and The Somme.

Pte Kirman was from Fulstow near Louth. He was 32 when he was shot on 23 September 1917. He'd been called up to fight in 1914, after previously leaving the army after nine years' service.

During the war he was injured several times - including at the Somme - and sent home to recuperate.

But back in the trenches, one day in September 1917, he felt he could not take any more and went absent.

After just two days he handed himself in to the military police but was court martialled and shot at dawn as an example to others.

Some say that the Labour Government are attempting to re-write history by giving more than 300 soldiers formal pardons after almost a century.

It's not re-writing history. Merely closing an unfinished chapter.

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