Monday, March 27, 2006

The war continues

World War I is not over yet.

In October of 1916, Private Harry Farr, after two years of fighting in the trenches, refused to return to the front. He was tried for cowardice and on conviction was executed. He refused a blindfold before the firing squad.

His 92-year-old daughter, Gertrude Harris, has been trying for the past 13 years to get Harry a posthumous pardon. She has evidence that he suffered from shell shock, or in today's terminology, post-traumatic stress disorder. The British defense minister, who refused Gertrude's request in February, has decided to reconsider.

Good luck, Gertrude.

This is not a unique case. According to The Times, to which I am indebted for this information, "17 alleged cowards in the British Army [were executed] during the First World War [and] a further 289 soldiers were shot for desertion and disobeying orders."

Here's Harry. Remember him when you think of "the Great War."

Update: Harry may get his pardon.

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