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23.09.14. Of all the lots in Bonhams First World War Centenary Sale on October 1st, perhaps lot 121 has particularly poignancy.
     Court Martial - Death Sentence for Desertion. Charge form for desertion against Privates Broadwick, and Hood, Calais, 6 July 1917. The court martial charge form for desertion against Private Broadwick, 11th Warwickshire Regiment, with the sentence given "Death". Charged "Whilst on active service, absent until apprehended by the military police" (5 May 1917) Broadwick was condemned, shot on 1 August, and now rests in a military grave at Dranoutre Military Cemetery. He was one of 306 British or Commonwealth soldiers executed during the war, all of whom were eventually pardoned by royal assent in 2006. Private Hood, charged alongside Broadwick, had his death sentence commuted to fifteen years penal servitude. Estimate £500 - 700.  Add a comment

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While bargains are to be had at auction, for the uninitiated, I think it's worth quoting from John Carter's ABC for Book Collectors. "The novice collector does well to recognise that in a bookshop there is a strong bond of common interest across the counter, but that in the sale-room every man's hand is against him. If he is a man of spirit, he may relish the encounter; hoping to beat the professionals at their own game and be prepared to take a few knocks in the process. Yet if he is also a man of sense, he will only do so after careful reconnaissance, and then with his eyes wide open".

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