I’m sort of going back in time now as I visited and photographed part of Fulstow some weeks ago.
During my research phase though, I came across some information that I found utterly fascincating.
The village was one, that for many years, did not have a war memorial to the soldiers of the first world war. Fulstow was offered one in 1918 but was told it could not include Pte Charles Kirman, of the Lincolnshire Regiment’s 7th Battalion. Pte Kirman, a veteran of the Somme, was shot at dawn in 1917 after going absent without leave.
Villagers insisted that every name be on the memorial, and the issue became so sensitive that Fulstow didn’t even have an Armistice Service.
The village hall that was built to remember those who died in the second world war, contained no reference to the earlier conflict.
Pte Kirman, a former soldier recalled when war began, went to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force. After fighting at Mons and the Somme, and twice being wounded, he went AWOL in November 1916.
After a court martial he was returned to his unit. Terrified at the prospect of being sent back to the front line, he absconded twice, each time turning himself in after a few days.
He told his final court martial: “My nerves are completely broken down. I suffer with pains in the head when I am in the line. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing.”
He was convicted of desertion and of going AWOL and was executed, aged 32, on Sept 23, 1917.
Following a long campaign – and money raised by locals, they finally got their memorial, and Pte Kirman’s name is there – along with the other fallen…..