Monday, October 24, 2005

The BBC report on the campaign by the family of Private Harry Farr, who was shot for desertion during the First World War at the age of 25. Farr's family are seeking a pardon for him, as he was suffering from shell-shock. I admire their courage and hope their campaign succeeds for the execution of hundreds of young men like Harry Farr stand as a testament to the brutality and horror of war, and to the character of of the military machine that condemned them. The army didn't just shoot the shell-shocked and the scared but even conscripted conscientious objectors into the army - sending them to the front-line so that they could then be shot for refusing to fight. The whole story was revealed a few years ago in a ground-breaking book "Shot at Dawn" by Julian Putkowski. You can read more about Private Harry Farr on the BBC's website
and about the some of the other victims of the "War to end all Wars" and the way in which pardons were dished out to officers while the privates were shot, on the Shot at Dawn website: