1916: Yakub Cemil, Ottoman putschist 1775: Huttenkloas

1917: Private John Abigail

September 12th, 2019 Headsman

Private John Abigail of the Royal Norfolk Regiment was shot on this date in 1917 for World War I desertion, at the village of Esquelbecq on the French-Belgian border.

He was a four-time offender, the last occasion judiciously ditching his post just before he was ordered over the top into the Passchendaele bloodbath.

Abigail’s name surprisingly appears carved on a war memorial plaque at St. Augustine’s Church in Norwich that long predates the humane 21st century rehabilitation of those shot at dawn. (See it here, at the very top of the right panel.)

The BBC has a short program about him available here.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Desertion,England,Execution,France,Military Crimes,Shot,Soldiers,Wartime Executions

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