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PRIVATE FRANK HUGHES - NZEF – EXECUTED - 25 AUGUST 1916

Letter from Leslie KENNY to his niece in New Zealand – dated 28 August 1916.
from the Taranaki Daily News 5 October 1992.

"In this little village on the Somme a few days ago a very sad incident occurred when the sentence of death by shooting was executed on a boy of our Canterbury Regiment, Private HUGHES.

God alone knows whether he merited his sentence (rumour says no) but it seems regrettable that a man who has volunteered of his own free will, when once ensnared in the military mesh, should have to submit to such barbarous methods of punishment.

A visit to the cemetery revealed an unmarked grave. Poor devil. Even his dead body disgraced. One rather pitiful tribute of the kindness of the French womenfolk was a bunch of freshly cut flowers placed on the mound.

The place of execution was in an orchard just opposite the cemetery and the bullet-scarred tree told its own mute story. The execution made a great impression on the civilians who rightly consider this boy a victim of too rigid and brutal discipline.

One thing certain, his grave will always be tended and well kept by these sympathetic strangers for whom he came to fight".


There is no Leslie KENNY on the NZ Embarkation Rolls but there is a…is this him?

Surname KEARNEY
Given NameLeslie George
Category Nominal Roll Vol. 2
Regimental Number 27306
Rank Private
Next of Kin Title Mrs V R
Next of Kin Surname KEARNEY
Next of Kin Relationship Mother
Next of Kin Address 20 Wroxton Terrace Fendalton Christchurch
Roll Roll 43
Page Page 16
Occupation Farmer

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