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Pardons Granted for Shell-Shocked WWI Soldiers

Discussion in 'News, Politics & Debates' started by Marlene, Jun 10, 2007.

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  1. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Soldier’s Heart=Shell Shock=Combat Fatigue=War Neurosis=PTSD

    Nearly 90 years after their deaths, 306 soldiers who were shot for military offences during World War I have been granted posthumous pardons from the British Ministry of Defense. These soldiers were executed between 1914 and 1918 for breaches of military discipline that included desertion, cowardice, quitting their posts and casting away their arms.

    Many men of the men executed for cowardice or desertion were suffering from "Shell Shock" after enduring months of military combat and horrors during WWI. British Defense Secretary Des Browne said these men were "as much victims of World War One as those who died in the battlefield." The group pardon recognizes that the men were not "cowards" or "deserters" and should not have been executed for military offences. This group of soldiers has been upgraded to being "Victims of War." Not one of the executed soldiers would have been executed today, since the British military death penalty was outlawed in 1930.

    Many family members are glad that their ancestors are finally receiving these pardons and official vindication after all this time.

    Recognizing Soldier’s Heart, Shell Shock or Combat Fatigue as PTSD

    Shell Shock is the terms used during World War I for what is has been termed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder since the 1980’s. During the Civil War, the condition was referred to as "Soldier’s Heart." During World War II Shell Shock went by several names including "Combat Fatigue," "Traumatic War Neurosis," "Combat Exhaustion" and "Operational Fatigue." However, it wasn’t until after World War II that psychiatrists started to recognize that the symptoms of Shell Shock were not due to an inborn mental illness, such as depression or schizophrenia. Instead they determined that this form of psychological dis-ease was caused by too much exposure to war trauma.

    According to the National Center for PTSD, studies have shown that the more prolonged, extensive, and horrifying a soldier's or sailor's exposure to war trauma, the more likely it is that she or he will become emotionally worn down and exhausted. This happens to even the strongest and healthiest of individuals, and often it is precisely these soldiers who are the most psychologically disturbed by war because they endure so much of the trauma.

    Source: About.com and BBC News
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  3. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

    OMFG. I didn't even know that happened, that soldiers got shot because they had PTSD! OMG.... that's good that they have been granted pardons posthumously, too bad it's too late though. And sure took the government a long time to pardon them! Wow.
  4. lrs

    lrs Well-Known Member

    I have seen old video footage of these soldiers suffering from PTSD, the likes of which I have never seen. I know what it is like to have ptsd, but the suffering these individuals endured was nothing short of catastrophic. It tore my heart out to see it.
    They used to use a red rubber stamp, with the initials WMC, I believe, or something close to it. It stood for "weak moral character".
    (I'm going by memory here)
    They would stamp a soldiers personal records with this stamp.
    These brave and heroic soldiers were treated as though they were a disgrace, yet it was the government's actions in the treatment of these soldiers that were disgracefull.
    It's a disgrace that evidently still continues, if it has taken this long to pardon these individuals.
  5. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

    About bloody time that these courageous poeple were honoured properly. It's just 90+ years late.
  6. cactus_jack

    cactus_jack Well-Known Member

    And how many died a lonely death amidst dishonor? For what? The lack of understanding? Terribly sad.
  7. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

    Ah yes, a real tragedy, that. And a very forgotten one I'm afraid.

  8. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    It still amazes me though now, for people to believe they have undone a wrong by doing a right, once such a act was commited, being death. A little to late to undo that one now I believe....
    fin likes this.
  9. lrs

    lrs Well-Known Member

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