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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

13th Bn., Royal Fusiliers

Stephen Nulty

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Extracted from the diary.....

“Armistice took effect from 11:00 hours.

Bodies of dead killed on 24/10/18 were buried at CHISSIGNIES. It was found that the majority of the men had been deliberately shot through the head by the enemy. The men in question had been wounded, those that were able to walk were taken by the enemy & the remainder dealt with as stated above. Bodies of men of the Lincolnshire Regt. who had been killed about 30th October were found to have been mutilated, hands hacked off at the wrists and eyes gouged out”.

I don't recall ever before having seen anything about mutiliation of the dead on the Western Front, so was really surprised by this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Stephen, as you'll guess from my commemorations below I'm interested in the extract you quoted. From what you read do you assume that the 13th RFus are recording what happened to their chaps killed on 24th October? I know from the diary that a shell burst among one platoon resulted in a number killed, including my great uncle, but I didn't see anything about some being captured as at the time the 13thRFus was engaged in the pursuit to the Selle.

Any clarification gratefully received.


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That is the first time that I have seen such allegations referred to in a War Diary.

There may well be some explanation to account for the condition of the corpses other than mutilation but I am speculating as to the extent to which normal military discipline within the German Army collapsed in the last phase of the conflict or was even abandoned by the more fanatical elements.

We should not forget that a good number of these troops joined the Freikorps shortly afterwoods and committed appalling atrocities against civilians and political opponents.


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