Shot at Dawn: Memorialising First World War Executions for Cowardice in the Landscape of the UK's National Memorial Arboretum

Author(s): Alasdair Brooks

Year: 2016

Summary

The National Memorial Arboretum is the United Kingdom's 'national centre of remembrance', which 'commemorates and celebrates those who have given their lives in the service of their country, all who have served and suffered as a result of conflict, and others who, for specific or appropriate reasons, are commemorated here'.  One of the memorials remembers the 306 British and Commonwealth soldiers who were executed for cowardice and desertion during the First World War, but subsequently ceremonially pardoned in 2007.  The memorial's physical location allows it to catch the 'first light of dawn', in keeping with the memorial theme, but that same location also arguably conceptually separates the memorial from counterparts that commemorate more 'conventional' war service. This paper explores the ambiguities and tensions inherent between this physical location and the memorial's prominent role in site interpretation.

 

Cite this Record

Shot at Dawn: Memorialising First World War Executions for Cowardice in the Landscape of the UK's National Memorial Arboretum. Alasdair Brooks. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434932)

Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -8.158; min lat: 49.955 ; max long: 1.749; max lat: 60.722 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 74