As part of the build-up to Remembrance Day, November 11th 2019, UK television company, ITV Meridian aired a 2-part regional news  programme about Fred Innocent and his involvement in the World War One. Fred was a local boy from Nottingham when he joined the Irish Munster Fusiliers at the outbreak of WW1. His war finished in February 1915 when he, his comrades and the French mill owner who helped them, were executed by the Germans.

ITV Central’s Peter Bearne, picked up on the story after being contacted by the Iron Memorial chairman, Hedley Malloch. Peter interviewed Fred’s great niece (wife, Janet) and I before visiting France and interviewing relatives of the French civilians who were involved in the concealment of the allied soldiers. ITV aired part one of the programme on November 8th and part two on November 11th as features in the regional news. If you missed them, we will be shortly posting the programmes here on this website. In the meantime, as an appetiser, you can read about the programmes and see extracts from the interviews on ITV’s website by clicking this link:

We can only speculate about how many viewers saw the evening news broadcast and were moved by it; but it has helped do what we all must do, and that is keep the memory alive to prevent conflicts like this from ever recurring.

As ever, comments and feedback are welcomed.

David Arrowsmith

Contact Us

To find out more about the Iron Memorial Fund, the story and the soldiers, contact us and we will be happy to talk to you.

Iron Memorial Fund, Chairperson and Treasurer

Hedley Malloch’s grandfather, uncle and great-uncle were all members of the Royal Munster Fusiliers and all saw service during the First World War. For Hedley, the story of the Iron 12 remains one of the most compelling and remarkable incidents in the history of the Western Front and he has spent numerous hours researching the story and its characters. Hedley was the driving force in designing and installing the monuments that are here today. Email:


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Iron Memorial Fund, Secretary and Website Manager

David and Janet Arrowsmith. One of the eleven soldiers was Fred Innocent who was Janet’s great uncle. He was a reservist and re-enlisted at the outbreak of war. He was 27 when he was executed by the Germans. We first became aware of the story for the first time in 2006 and we were among the first members of Fred’s family in nearly 90 years to visit his grave and those of his comrades. We are indebted to Hedley for all his help, knowledge and friendship. Together we raised the funds necessary for the memorials. Email:

We are indebted to the villagers of Iron for keeping this story alive with copies of certificates, articles and reports over the years. Some of the current inhabitants of Iron are direct descendants of the brave villagers who helped the soldiers in 1914/1915.

Please email either of us with any questions or comments you may have regarding the Iron 12 events. If you prefer, you may contact us using the form provided here.