Blanket pardon for desertion opposed


London - Military experts yesterday opposed a pardon for more than 300 men shot for cowardice and desertion in the first World War. At a symposium of historians, lawyers and psychiatrists, they argued that the decisions of yesterday should not be judged by the moral standards of today. British army firing squads executed 312 men for military offences between 1914 and 1920.

The British Armed Forces Minister, Mr John Reid, announced in May that their cases were being re-examined in the light of evidence that many of the shell-shocked men were suffering from mental illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder.