A remarkable lady died on Tuesday, at the age of 101. Gertrude Harris campaigned for many years to clear the name of her father, Harry Farr, who had been executed by firing squad in 1916. Eventually her efforts, and those of others, persuaded Des Browne, then Minister of Defence, to issue a blanket pardon for all those charged with desertion or cowardice.
My own prejudice is against blanket pardons, which mostly seem to be about current politicians trying to ingratiate themselves by distancing themselves from the past and claiming ‘We’re not like that any more.’ There was definite injustice done to Harry Farr, though, and I greatly admire his family for their spirit in leading the campaign.
There is a letter from Julian Putkowski in today’s Guardian that pays a personal tribute to Gertrude Harris.