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The Killing of the Iron Twelve

The Killing of the Iron Twelve

The Killing of the Iron Twelve by Hedley Malloch Written by Hedley Malloch, this meticulously researched account, grippingly and vividly recounts the events and fate of the soldiers on the run and the French civilians who helped them. The story is one of dramatic...

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Torn Apart

Torn Apart

Torn Apart, a novel by David Arrowsmith This novel, based on the Iron12 story, is available from Amazon  in paperback and Kindle Edition. The central character, Charlie, depicts Fred Innocent, one of the soldiers executed as a spy by the Germans on February 25th,...

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Iron12
Iron12
Great Read and a Great Cause

As a fund booster, I wrote a novel based partly on the life and death of Fred Innocent (pictured on the front cover). Fred was one of the Iron12 soldiers executed by the Germans in February 1915. All proceeds from book sales go to our charity, the Iron Memorial Fund (Charity Commission Number XT25503). The sole purpose of the charity is to preserve and maintain the monuments created in Iron and Guise in memory of all the victims. The novel, Torn Apart, is available on Kindle in print and e-format.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Torn-Apart-David-Arrowsmith/dp/1521885400/ref=sr_1_4?crid=3VL7BF5FYP7W7&dchild=1&keywords=david+arrowsmith&qid=1634161296&sprefix=David+arr%2Cstripbooks%2C150&sr=8-4

Try before you buy! Take a free peek inside the book!

Torn Apart has received good reviews and the monies raised will help preserve the memories of those brave, selfless souls. Thank you.
Iron12
Iron12
The German invading forces destroyed much in their path as they advanced across France in 1914. Some six months before it became the execution site of the Iron 12 soldiers, the Château at Guise was one such building to suffer under their wanton destruction.
Iron12
Iron12
The Mill in Iron Village
When I first heard the story of the Iron12 and its links with the mill in Iron, I assumed it was either a flour or cotton mill. I was wrong. It was a silk mill. By the time the Iron 12 soldiers arrived in 1914 seeking safety and shelter in the mill, it was largely disused and the interior was littered with obsolete silk weaving equipment gathering dust.

The once prolific and profitable French silk weaving industry had suffered a perfect storm that heralded its demise. The Jacquard loom invented in the early 1800s, with its punched cards (an early computer if you like) had an ability to follow intricate embroidery patterns. This revolutionised the industry, at least for a while. Towards the middle of the nineteenth century, a number of silkworm diseases appeared. Not only were the silkworms infected but also their hosts, the mulberry trees, were also infested. Louis Pasteur, the father of bacteriology, was called on to help find a cure. He eventually did, but not before the scarcity of the silkworm cocoons had pushed up the price of silk. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 sealed their fate. Asian silk imports, principally from China and Japan, flooded in and the demand for French silk went into terminal decline.

In late 1914, early 1915, the old silk mill in Iron embarked on a new purpose its founders never envisioned; a sanctuary for allied soldiers trapped behind enemy lines. Its end came when, in retribution after the discovery of the soldiers, it was burned and destroyed by the occupying German forces.
Iron12
Iron12
Now we are allowed back out again and we can cross the Channel, how about a visit to Aisne? Specifically we are thinking about Etreux and district, scene of the fascinating Iron12 story that unfolded in 1914/1915. We have created a self-guided tour of all the sites of interest:
https://iron12.org/self-guided-tour-of-sites/

If you need it, some overnight accommodation is available in Guise but a wider selection is to be found in nearby Saint-Quentin. Enjoy!