For Armistice Day 2006 - Justice at last
For the first time since the granting of a blanket conditional pardon, the Shot at Dawn contingent joined the Remembrance Sunday march past The Cenotaph, Whitehall...
Private John Bennett - Hampshire Regiment - executed August 1916, aged 19
The point was also made that 2,700 people were sentenced to death but only a few were executed. I believe that that demonstrates how fickle was the decision to execute. There was no rhyme or reason to it. It was like a raffle whether or not someone was executed, which then goes to the heart of the principle of justice. Justice has to be consistent and clearly understood. Those who were executed were simply unfortunate in the draw.
Wreath of the National Union of Journalists bearing the words:
No one can suppress the truth forever, but some people never stop trying
Wreath for the 26 Irish-born shot at dawn bearing the words:
Dignity and honour restored, worthless men no more. In memory of the 26 Irish-born men and boys shot at dawn, 1914-1918.
Two crosses and a Star of David commemorating three seventeen year old boys shot at dawn, placed by NUJ representatives in Westminster Abbey Garden of Remembrance
United: great-granddaughter of Private Harry Farr with great-niece of Private William Randle before the march past The Cenotaph
The 26 Irish-born servicemen shot at dawn were also remembered in official commemorations in Ireland
Islandbridge Memorial ...
Mr Derek Dunne, great-nephew of Steven Byrne (who served as M Monaghan), Royal Dublin Fusiliers, executed aged 30, placed the first ever wreath on behalf of the 26 Irish executed before members of the diplomatic corps, ex- service associations, families and friends.
Christy Walsh (third from right), great-nephew of Private Patrick Downey, Leinster Regiment, executed aged 19, placed a wreath in memory of Irish Shot at Dawn. Mr Walsh, the Mayor of Limerick and the Royal British Legion Limerick Branch, headed the parade with other associations and veterans to the service. At the suggestion of Mr Tadgh Moloney Hon Sec of the Royal Munster Fusiliers Association, the wreath laying protocol was specially repositioned to allow a relative of an Irish executed soldier a place of honour at the front of the parade.
Photographs courtesy of Jean Lewis, Andrew DeComyn, George Macintyre and Peter Mulvany
© EFE November 2006