Shot at Dawn
We shot him, ended his life, because it was only right,
the soldier who had deserted his post at first light.
We followed orders, did our duty by him,
abided by the regulations -- every line.
The private never denied his cowardice
-- a lack of moral fiber is what it is.
The chaplain gave the lad his last rites
-- we'll have a bayonet less, next fight.
The boy accepted the offer of a blindfold
and faced his death like a man, all told:
the sergeant gave the kid a Woodbine,
lit it for him with a match, most kind.
The private coughed at the initial drag,
must have been his very first fag.
Our squad obeyed the command from the Sarge.
The boy dropped at the single barrage.
Christopher T. George
On 7th November 2007, the British Government
agreed to give a posthumous pardon to all
those executed for military offenses in the
First World War. "Shot at Dawn" Memorial