WWI deserters remembered for trials faced

WWI deserters remembered for trials faced at Scottsdale Military Museum


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History: Part of the Scottsdale War Memorial walk, naming the Tasmanian soldiers who served in World War I. Picture: Phillip Biggs

History: Part of the Scottsdale War Memorial walk, naming the Tasmanian soldiers who served in World War I. Picture: Phillip Biggs

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One Tasmanian soldier was shot for desertion

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While many of Tasmania’s World War I soldiers are honoured for their sacrifices, some faced a less heroic end.

But those soldiers also deserve to be remembered, Launceston historian Janice Humphreys believes, even those who deserted their post.

Mrs Humphreys manages the Scottsdale Military Museum Facebook page, along with several other military history pages. She said Tasmanian soldiers had witnessed terrible things, including the deaths of their friends on the battle fields, leading some to desert their posts.

One such soldier was Private John Joseph Sweeney, born in Tasmania’s North-West, and who served for New Zealand. He was shot for desertion, in October 1916.

Mrs Humphreys said she is seeking more information about soldiers who did not come home – whatever the reason – for the museum and a comprehensive database of the state’s military history.

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The story WWI deserters remembered for trials faced first appeared on The Examiner.

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