Drawing upon war diaries, court martial papers and interviews with veterans and family members, award-winning BBC journalist Stephen Walker explains how, often exhausted by battle, or suffering shell-shock, men who refused to fight were branded as cowards, and shot at dawn by a firing squad. From the cities and townlands of Ireland to the killing fields of the Western Front and Gallipoli, ‘Forgotten Soldiers’ traces the lives of men who enlisted to fight an enemy but ended up being killed by their own side. For decades the full story of how the Irishmen died has largely remained a secret, but now one of the most controversial chapters in British military history can at last be told. In 2006 the British government finally pardoned those soldiers who were shot at dawn. ‘Forgotten Soldiers’ is the first book to chronicle how relatives and campaigners fought to clear the men’s names.
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