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"The Deserter’s fate." A Union deserter executed by firing squad is posed on his coffin as a line of Union soldiers pose in the background, c. 1861.


Edith Louisa Cavell 1865 – 1915. Trained as a Registered Nurse and called on to care for wounded soldiers in WWI, Edith impressed upon fellow nurses the need to care for patients, irrespective of their nationality. Edith was responsible for the escape to neutral territory of over 200 Allied soldiers until her arrest in 1915. When interrogated she acknowledged her role in the escape system and, despite efforts by neutral officials, she was executed by firing squad on 12th October 1915.


Archbishop Damaskinos of Greece (R) and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (L) leaving British embassy after discussing problem of the Greek Civil War, Athens, Greece, 1945. Photographer: Dmitri Kessel


Paris 1941 ~ Pierre Laval ~ (28 June 1883 – 15 October 1945) was a French politician. Following France's surrender & Armistice with Germany in 1940, he served twice in the Vichy Regime as head of government. He signed orders permitting the deportation of foreign Jews from French soil to the Nazi death camps. After Liberation (1945), he was arrested by the French government under General de Gaulle, found guilty of high treason, & executed by firing squad.


Patrice Lumumba (1925 – 1961) was a Congolese independence leader and the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo. Twelve weeks after helping the Republic of the Congo win its independence from Belgium. Lumumba's government was deposed in a coup. He was imprisoned and executed by firing squad, an act that was committed with the assistance of the Belgium government.


After the execution of Mata Hari at the age of 41 by the French, innumerable postcards and postal stationery have been issued by many countries to celebrate the life and dance style of the Dutch woman who was praised as the most beautiful woman of her times by many writers and critics.


In 1943, Hungarian Hannah Szenes joined the British Army and volunteered to be parachuted into Europe. The purpose of this operation was to help the Allied efforts in Europe and establish contact with partisan resistance fighters in an attempt to aid beleaguered Jewish communities.


Portrait of Mata-Hari. Margaretha Geertruida "M'greet" Zelle McLeod, better known by the stage name Mata Hari, was a Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan, and accused spy who was executed by firing squad in France under charges of espionage for Germany during World War I. (1876 - 1917)


On October 12, 1915, Edith Cavell was executed by the German military for having helped over 200 allied soldiers escape from occupied Belgium. Her death was her last act of heroism and bravery in a long life of public service and personal sacrifice. "Patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone."


(The last picture of Patrice Lumumba) Patrice Lumumba was executed by a firing squad. His body, which was buried on the spot, was later dug up and dissolved in acid. The bones were ground up and scattered to the winds to make sure there was nothing left of him. The colonel who deposed Lumumba, Joseph Mobutu – later Mobutu Sese Seko – would rule the country despotically until 1997. – Photo: Horst Faas, AP .. For me the background in this picture is more than a hint... Its big fun for some.