Add comment July 21st, 2011 Headsman
This teenager rashly joined up at the outbreak of hostilities, fudging his age up by two years to qualify. It’s more than likely that he, and his real age, were known to the recruiters who signed him up. (He wasn’t the only child soldier in that war.)
Burden is the “model” for the memorial statue a later, more soft-hearted British Empire put up in 2001 commemorating 306 British and Commonwealth soldiers shot during the first World War for desertion and cowardice.
* Here’s a book about an Irish battalion that was nearly annihilated in the battle.
Shot at Dawn memorial/Herbert Burden likeness photo (cc) Noisette.
Also on this date
- 1683: Lord Russell, Whig martyr
- 356 BCE: Herostratus burns the Temple of Artemis
- 1798: Anthony Perry and Mogue Kearns, Protestant and Catholic
- 1986: Vice-President Paulo Correia and five others
- 1976: Lt. Col. Abu Taher
- 1944: Col. Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, for the plot to kill Hitler
Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Arts and Literature,Capital Punishment,Children,Death Penalty,Desertion,England,Execution,France,History,Military Crimes,Shot,Soldiers,Wartime Executions,Wrongful Executions