Executions · Famous Last Words · Ireland

FLW: advises executioners to step forward for a better shot

Famous Last Words
Erskine Childers
Beggars Bush Barracks, Dublin, Ireland
November 24, 1922

“Take a step forward, lads. It will be easier that way.”

Author Robert Erskine Childers was said to have inspired propaganda of the Republican movement in the Irish Civil War. He was arrested for carrying a firearm after the Army Emergency Powers Resolution passed, establishing martial law and making the possession of a firearm without a license a capital offense. His arrest through execution was swift: arrested November 10, tried November 20, and executed November 24. Before being executed, he shook hands with each member of the firing squad as a sign of reconciliation, then jokingly advised they take a step forward, the quip becoming his Famous Last Words.

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