On November 26, 1916, Goggins was guarding a position near Arras on the Western Front with Corporal John McDonald. Sergeant Joseph Stones, fleeing a German ambush, ran past their position shouting “Run for your lives, the Huns are on top of you!”, and Goggins and McDonald retreated to a reserve trench 20 yards (18 m) away. Both men were subsequently charged with deserting their posts, and in spite of Stones’ evidence that he had given the order to retreat, they were convicted at court martial on Christmas Eve and sentenced to death. Stones was sentenced to death at a separate court martial several days later for casting away his rifle in the same incident. The sentences were supported by Brigadier-General H O’Donnell, who wrote that he had doubts about the quality of the evidence, but felt that the executions were necessary to set an example to other men in the battalion. All three men were executed on 18 January. The chaplain who prayed with them before their deaths remarked that he had never met three braver men.
Original URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Goggins
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