Tuesday 25 July 2023
18:30 to 20:30

Host - TBN
Vote of thanks - TBN

Ex police officer, Ayrshire born, Alex Hall has been involved with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGW) for over 40 years. As a teenager he went on a school trip to France where he came upon a Commonwealth War Cemetery in the town of Dieppe. He spoke to a gentleman who told him that he was a “Trustee” on day release from the local prison and was allowed day release to work in the graveyard. 

As a result of this encounter he started to study the history of the Raid on Dieppe which he found fascinating. This lead to becoming involved with the CWGC with whom he’s done voluntary work at home and abroad, including accompanying school trips with Garnock Academy and Largs Academy as a guide. 

He was actively involved in the campaign to have those soldiers who were executed by firing squad, (SHOT AT DAWN) pardoned and their names added to local war memorials  which was previously forbidden by law. 

This presentation looks at the 346 young British soldiers who were Courts Martialed and executed by firing squad in the name of military discipline in WW1.

We look at the alternative of Field Punishment number one and two (FP1 and FP2) and the repealing of public flogging in 1903.

Followed by a list of crimes and offences and the stories of those who met their maker at the end of a Lee Enfield Rifle.

Let us not forget the evil skulduggery of Brigadier Frank Percy Crazier or the insatiable penchant of General Horace Smith Dorrien for the execution of officers.

The subsequent Royal Pardon by H M Ctueen Elizabeth 11in 2007 of 306 and the denial of a pardon for 40 young men who committed serious crimes and remain convicted.

Prior to the pardon it was unlawful to name an executed soldier on a war memorial. This has now been repealed.