Iron12, TV Documentary


For five months in the autumn of 1914, the village of Iron, Aisne, France, sheltered eleven British soldiers, six Irish and five English, who were left behind by the British army in the retreat to the Marne. The soldiers were betrayed twice before being captured, tried and executed by the Germans in Guise Château on 25 February 1915 along with a Frenchman who helped shelter them. This was the largest execution of British soldiers by the Germans on the Western Front.

In 2019, Hedley Malloch, the Iron Memorial Fund Chair, published a book on the story called ‘The Killing of the Iron Twelve’. As part of the 2019 Remembrance Day commemorations, UK television company, ITV Central, featured the story in two parts. Their story focused on Fred Innocent of 2/Royal Munster Fusiliers from Nottingham who was one of the soldiers killed.

The two-part documentary, superbly produced by Peter Bearne of ITV Central, was shown on two evenings. The first part was broadcast on November 8th and the second part on November 11th.

ITV Central granted permission to us to make the documentary publicly available on YouTube. Click on the YouTube logos below to watch the videos produced and created by Peter Bearne, ITV News.


ITV also produced two other regional versions of these videos incorporating extracts from relatives of the other soldiers in the Iron12. All programmes were broadcast simultaneously in different regions of the UK. ITV Anglia’s broadcast included interviews with relatives of James Moffatt and ITV Yorkshire’s broadcast included interviews with relatives of George Howard.

David Arrowsmith 10/12/2019