This was the first poem by Rudyard Kipling in the voice of the ordinary Tommy.  

It could be based on the execution of Private Flaxman, The Leicestershire Regiment, for the murder of a sergeant, which happened at Lucknow in India in 1887.  The poem was written in 1890.

"The garrison paraded at 8.15 a.m., the band played the "Dead March in Saul" as the condemned man was marched onto the parade ground with his coffin on a gun carriage in front of him. After the execution, the garrison was marched off parade past the scaffold on which the corpse of the executed man still hung."

The picture shows the regiment in hollow square formation similar to, but not actually, an execution.

The accent is just an impression - I'm not claiming that it's authentic. 


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