Honouring those who were Shot at Dawn

I’ve just returned from a very simple dedication of a Memorial  on St Martin’s Quarantine Island in honour of the  5 New Zealand soldiers wrongfully executed in France and Belgium between 1916-1918. These men were   probably all suffering from shellshock/post traumatic stress  in today’s diagnostic terms.  A special act of Parliament pardoned all 45 men in 2000 and in 2005 Helen Clark  honoured their  memory and issued them with their service medals. The families of these soldiers shot at dawn gathered with us  and once again we remembered the stupidity of war and the way in which war machines on all sides not only slaughtered  their enemies but also  slaughtered their own to  try and guarantee obedience and legitimate the madness all around.  This memorial is a single  Stake of the kind used to  tie those who were about to be executed . The Memorial also has some imbedded tiles  showing where the firing squads would have stood. It was a haunting reminder of the fact that  there are no victors  in war only victims.
We mourned the executions of Frank Hughes aged 28 Shot at Dawn  Hallencourt France , John Sweeney 37 shot at Meaulte France, Jack Braithwaite, 35 shot at Rouen France, John King 32  shot at Steenwerck France, and Victor Spencer 21 shot at Mud Huts  Belgium  . We were privileged to have the famliy of Victor Spencer present. We had a lovely sharing and afternoon tea at the end of the ceremony at which many concerns were expressed about the way in which this Centennial of ANZAC day was being observed . We all recited the World Peace Prayer,
Lead me from death to life
From Falsehood to truth
Lead me from  despair to hope
From fear to trust.
Lead me from hate to lobe
From war to peace
Let peace fill our hearts,
Our world, our universe.


About kevinclements2012

Short CV Professor Kevin P Clements. I am the Foundation Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies and Director of the New Zealand Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago, Dunedin New Zealand and Secretary General of the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy. Prior to taking up these positions I was the Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies and Foundation Director of the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia . I went to Queensland from International Alert where I was Secretary General from January 1999 to September 2003. International Alert is one of the world’s largest NGOs working on conflict transformation. It pioneered innovative policy and practical approaches to conflict prevention and transformation in Africa ,Eurasia and Asia . It has also made a major contribution to the mainstreaming of conflict prevention within European Foreign and Development Ministries, the EU and a variety of UN institutions. During his time there I was on the Board of the European Centre for Conflict Prevention and past President of the European Peace Building Liaison Office in Brussels. Prior to becoming Secretary General of International Alert I was the Vernon and Minnie Lynch Chair of Conflict Resolution at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University Fairfax Virginia USA 1994-2000 and Director of the Institute from 1994-1999. My career has been a combination of academic analysis and practice in the areas of peacebuilding and conflict transformation. I was, for example, formerly Director of the Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva and Head of the Peace Research Centre at the Australian National University in Canberra .Prior to this I was Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Coordinator of Peace Studies at Canterbury University, Christchurch New Zealand . My first academic position was as a lecturer in Sociology at Hong Kong University . I took up this position from a Post Doctoral Fellowship at Oxford University where I worked on development issues with Paul Streeten and others. I have been an advisor to the New Zealand, Australian , British , Swedish and Dutch governments on conflict prevention , peace, defence and security issues and advised the German Government and the OECD on States and Violence. I was, a member of the New Zealand Government’s Defence Committee of Enquiry in 1985 and I currently conducting Problem Solving Workshops in North East Asia with high level participants from Japan, China and Korea. Iwas President of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) from 1994-1998, President of the IPRA Foundation from 1995-2000 and Secretary General of the Asia Pacific Peace Research Association. I was Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association 2008-2010. I got my B.A, B.A Hon ( First Class) and Ph.D in Sociology from Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand. and held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Oxford from 1970-1971. I have been a regular consultant to a variety of non governmental and intergovernmental organisations on disarmament, arms control, conflict resolution, development and regional security issues and I have written or edited 7 books and over 160 chapters /articles on conflict transformation, peacebuilding, preventive diplomacy and development with a specific focus on the Asia Pacific region. Research Expertise 1. Peace Research Theory- Conflict and Conflict Resolution Theory . Preventive Diplomacy , Development and Peacebuilding 2. International and Regional Regimes-APEC, ASEAN, the ARF, ECOWAS 3. Political Sociology-International Organisations. Multilateral/bilateral negotiating processes. 4. Fragile States, Legitimacy and Political Hybridity 5. Alternative Defence and Security Policies-Peace and Security in the Asia-Pacific region. 6. The politics and ethics of international humanitarian intervention 7. Altruism and Compassion In my spare time I like to paint with acrylics or pastels, go to the theatre, listen to classical music, visit art galleries etc!
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