A campaign has been launched to honour hundreds of men wrongly shot at dawn.

Stockton South Conservative MP Matt Vickers is heading the campaign to be awarded medals posthumously, including a local member of the Durham Light Infantry.

The Shot at Dawn Memorial in Staffordshire commemorates those who have been pardoned, one of which represents the case of Private George Hunter, of Stockton. Before the war, while working at Anderson’s Foundry at Port Clarence, Private Hunter had suffered a terminal industrial accident which left him with a mental impairment that affected his short-term memory.

Yet George still enlisted in the 4th (Reserve) Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry and was sent to France in 1915, leaving behind a wife and two toddlers.

Read more: Tributes to dedicated Darlington legend 'Pete the Sweep' after death

After sentence of death had been passed his commanding officer noted on the proceedings that he thought Private Hunter was suffering from a mental abnormality and recommended that he should be seen by a doctor specializing in mental diseases.

However, no notice was taken of his superior’s statement and Hunter was duly executed in a back area of the Ypres Salient.

Mr Vickers said: "At the Arboretum memorial in Staffordshire stand 306 wooden stakes to symbolise the 306 soldiers who were wrongly 'shot at dawn' during the First World War and subsequently pardoned.

"One of those was Private George Hunter. He lived in Stockton and left behind his wife and two children to serve in the Durham Light Infantry Battalion before being unjustifiably murdered by his own in Ypres.

"It is a sad reality that Private Hunter and his fellow comrades who suffered such a great injustice have still not been posthumously awarded any of the medals they should have received for their service.

"I will be fighting to ensure that these men receive the recognition they rightly deserve and are awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal."

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