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Deserter's family comes forward

18 January 08 19:54 GMT

The grand-daughter of a World War I soldier shot for desertion has come forward after a historian's plea for more information about him.

Pte Joseph Bateman, of Wordsley, West Midlands, was shot in December 1917 - one of the 306 British deserters shot by firing squad during that war.

Now, Judith Lampitt, of Evesham, Worcs, has learnt about her grandfather.

Historian Graham Hodgson campaigned to get Pte Bateman's name added to Wordsley's war memorial.

The soldier, who was part of the 2/5th South Staffordshire Regiment, had been one of the first to sign up to the Army in November 1914 when the call came for volunteers.

'Been heartbroken'

Ms Lampitt's mother was three years old when her father was shot.

Ms Lampitt said: "She told me he'd been shot, but we assumed it was by Germans.

"I'm glad she didn't know, she would have been heartbroken."

She added: "No one knew, I rang my cousin this morning and she didn't know either."

Ms Lampitt has already been in touch with Mr Hodgson and said she planned to visit the war memorial.

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