Most of those executed were volunteers, vulnerable teenagers shot for alleged cowardice and desertion. In fact most were suffering shell shock, which we now recognise as post-traumatic stress disorder. The motive for the executions was to instil fear.
A moment's thought reveals the real reason why no pardon is forthcoming: the likelihood of considerable compensation claims for unlawful killing and, more importantly, posthumous indictment of senior military figures for war crimes.
Nothing can be achieved by perpetuating the injustice; in this week of remembrance, grant pardons so healing and forgiveness can begin.
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