This complete history of one of the most controversial aspects of the First World War reveals the story of British soldiers executed for cowardice and desertion.
Three hundred and fifty-one men were executed by British Army firing squads between September 1914 and November 1920. By far the greatest number, 266 were shot for desertion in the face of the enemy. Controversial even at the time, these executions of soldiers amid the horrors of the Western Front continue to haunt the history of the war, with talk today of shell shock and posthumous pardons. This book sets out the facts of these court martials and executions, using new material that only now has become available from the Public Records Office and other sources. Just as importantly, the authors place the story of these executions firmly in the context of the military, social and medical context of the period.