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GRANVILLE

The crucified soldier (again)

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GRANVILLE

Not sure if this is the best section for this and certainly not intending to generate further heated discussion on a subject which has been thoroughly debated a long time ago. That said, I've searched and can't find a previous reference to what I came across while reading 'The First Hundred Thousand (K1)' by Ian Hay - understood to actually be John Hay Beith. Written, I believe in at least 1915, on p 180 he quite matter of factly comments: "But the grim realities of war are coming home to us. Outside this farm stands a tall tree. Not many months ago a party of Uhlans arrived here, bringing with them a wounded British prisoner. They crucified him to that self-same tree, and stood round him till he died. He was a long time dying."

Much is said about the crucifies Canadian, but this was something of a first for me, when I read this. Hay (or Beith) was no fool, and presumably he utterly believed what he understood to have happened just a few months earlier?

 

David  

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Not sure if this is the best section for this and certainly not intending to generate further heated discussion on a subject which has been thoroughly debated a long time ago

Not too much of an issue with a new view on it as long as it keeps to a civil debate.

Craig

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johnboy

An interesting tale. Is the place named? It sounds like a POW facility.

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BIFFO

I have the doco some where

:poppy:

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jay dubaya

I believe it’s the same story as the crucified Canadian/s and it was Hay who dated the incident to the spring of 1915 at St. Julien and that the victim was a British soldier

 

J

 

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helpjpl

Hay tended to refer to anybody from a dominion (or self governing colony) as British (as indeed legally they were at that time - that's why we got Bonar Law as a British Prime Minister and Beaverbrook was allowed in the cabinet) He wrote a Broadway musical (with some help from P G Wodehouse) in 1918 where he refers to Canadians (and Australians) as BRITISH

 

Page 3, #51:

https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/218096-what-i-find-unusual-about-this-site-is-the-focus-on/page/3/

 

JP

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GRANVILLE
2 hours ago, johnboy said:

An interesting tale. Is the place named? It sounds like a POW facility.

The location isn't named because his writings were made at the time (as I understand it), and published once received back at home in the UK. Censorship will have restrained him. That said, by p 200, he describes how the company march - which I read to be from the billets they were at when he made the comment referred to, took them to Armentieres, so from this I would conclude the location will have been a max of 20 miles from the town? I note the comment about Hay apparently referring to all allied combatants as British, but when reading his work, this does not come across to me, on the contrary, he is quick to point out specific regional identities such as the Welsh, Geordies & etc, which causes me to think that on hearing the story of the crucified soldier - if it had of been a Canadian, he would have surely referred to him as such. Instead, he points out the the incident involved a British prisoner. From the tone of his writing, one also imagines he may well have visited the tree concerned to see for himself what was possibly the blood-staining left after the affair?
David

Edited by GRANVILLE

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johnboy

it seems to me that he was some where where it was not unusual for Germans to turn up with prisoners? So an internment camp?

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