Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


World War One pardoned soldiers recognised

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister
Hon Mark Burton
Minister of Defence

31 August 2005 Media Statement

World War One pardoned soldiers recognised

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Defence Minister Mark Burton today presented war medals, certificates and medallions to the families of three New Zealand soldiers who were executed during World War One, and who were pardoned by Parliament in 2000.

A special ceremony was held in the Legislative Council Chamber for the families of Private Jack Braithwaite, Private Frank Hughes and Private Victor Manson Spencer, who were shot for the offences of mutiny or desertion.

The Pardon for Soldiers of the Great War Act 2000 pardoned five soldiers of the New Zealand Division, First New Zealand Expeditionary Force, who were executed during World War One for either mutiny or desertion. The Act started as a Private Members Bill introduced by Mark Peck and was adopted by Government.

The purpose of the Act was ‘to remove so far as practicable, the dishonour that the execution of those five soldiers brought to those soldiers and their families’.

Helen Clark said today's ceremony marks the end of a sad chapter in our history.

"Military discipline of the day could only recognise dissent or shell shock as the offences of mutiny or desertion, punishable by death by firing squad. In today's ceremony we honour the memory of these three soldiers who volunteered to serve their country.

"Now we can remember their service and sacrifice with pride and sorrow whenever New Zealand commemorates those who died in war, and in the service of peace," Helen Clark said.

Mark Burton said the families of two other soldiers pardoned by the 2000 Act, Privates John King and John Joseph Sweeney, will attend a similar ceremony in Canberra next month.

"I am honoured to present these awards to representatives from the Braithwaite, Hughes and Spencer families, who have travelled from Bluff, Christchurch and Hamilton to attend this ceremony," Mark Burton said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods (is the dollar up or down?) the outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country... More>>




Submissions Summary: The People's Commission On Public Media

This Summary is a preliminary report from the People’s Commission. It brings together views and aspirations of the hundreds of people who made submissions, attended public meetings, filled out the online survey and made speeches to our Panel. More>>

Housing Plans: Protest Over Ihumatao Development

Ihumatao in Mangere, next to the airport in Auckland, holds the archaeological remains of 1000 years of food production; from when Maori first landed in the area, through to early European settler agriculture and right up until today. More>>


Negotiations: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word.. More>>


Contains Highly Colloquial Language: Your F**king Guide To Government Formation

The following message is in no way endorsed by the Electoral Commission. They are f**king done with this election. More>>

NZ Emissions Up 50% 1990-2013: Report Confirms CLimate Change Impacting NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: Inland Revenue Steps Back From Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election