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A thoroughly mischievous bit of claptrap: the Campaign for the Abolition of the Military Death Penalty in Britain, 1919-1930

Hanna, Emma (2021) A thoroughly mischievous bit of claptrap: the Campaign for the Abolition of the Military Death Penalty in Britain, 1919-1930. War in History, . ISSN 0968-3445. E-ISSN 1477-0385. (In press) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:92233)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)

Abstract

After the guns fell silent on the Western Front, a different war was fought in the corridors of Whitehall: to abolish the death penalty for cowardice. This was a punishment which had been handed to the majority of the 306 British soldiers executed by Courts Martial during the Great War. Corporal punishment in the Army was legalised by the Army Act. By 1914, this act was known as the Army and Air Force Act and had to be reviewed and passed by Parliament on an annual basis. Throughout the 1920s, there were four attempts to abolish the military death penalty, in 1925, 1926, 1928 and finally in 1930 when the Army and Air Force Bill removed the death penalty for military offences of cowardice and desertion. This paper will give an overview of the campaign to abolish the military death penalty. It will show how attitudes towards military discipline and sacrifice were altered by the largely civilian-servicemen’s’ experiences of war, and of the many voices who sought to reconcile their post-war consciences with the memories of their wartime experiences and actions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: First World War, British government, British Army, Ernest Thurtle, Courts Martial
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
J Political Science > JF Political institutions and public administration
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Emma Hanna
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2021 17:07 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2022 09:19 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/92233 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Hanna, Emma: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7732-1783
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