Published August 16, 2006
Pte Billy Nelson(UK)
Only days after being wounded in the murderous fighting at the Battle of Loos, Billy Nelson was facing the firing squad.
The soldier had failed to "go over the top" because he was having his first meal for days, with permission, in another part of the battlefield. After a court martial lasting only five minutes, Pte Nelson, who was not represented, was found guilty.
The 19-year-old soldier told the hearing: "I have had a lot of trouble at home and my nerves are badly upset. My father is a prisoner in Germany and is losing his eyesight there through bad treatment. "My mother died while I was still in England, leaving my sister aged 13 and my brother aged 10. I am the only one left. I had no intention of deserting." He was shot as an example to others at dawn on Aug 11, 1916.
more at www.telegraph.co.uk