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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 May, 2005, 08:29 GMT 09:29 UK
Village finally honours war dead
Remembrance crosses
The memorial comes decades after the war
A soldier who was shot for desertion in World War I features on a village's first memorial to its war dead nearly a century on.

Fulstow in Lincolnshire could have had a tribute in 1918 but residents disagreed over the inclusion of Private Charles Kirman.

He was shot for going absent without leave having fought and been injured in two of the war's bloodiest battles.

The village hall plaque will list all those killed in both world wars.

After World War I, communities decided for themselves whether they wanted a memorial, but a decision was never reached in Fulstow.

He wasn't just somebody who'd gone out done one battle and decided he didn't like it
Nicola Pike, campaigner

There was some local objection over the inclusion of Private Kirman.

Campaigner Nicola Pike said: "There would have been somebody in the village who disagreed with it, so the rest of the families said, if you're not having him then you're not having our boys, because they all went to school together and worked together.

"It's village folklore, but there isn't a memorial and we haven't got anyone left who was alive then."

The issue was so contentious the village has not had an Armistice Sunday service in living memory.

Private Kirman who was shot at dawn aged 32 had left the army after serving nine years as a regular soldier.

He was called up and fought in the battle of Mons and the battle of the Somme, but was injured several times and sent home to recuperate.

Ms Pike said she felt he just could not take any more and that is why he went "absent without leave".

He handed himself into the military police after two days, was court-martialled and shot on 23 September 1917. Campaigners are now raising funds to pay for the plaque which will be placed on the village hall.


SEE ALSO:
East Midlands remembering VE Day
08 May 05 |  England
Field memorial to WWII fatalities
04 Sep 04 |  Lincolnshire


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