The British government will seek parliamentary approval to pardon more than 300 soldiers executed for military offences during World War I.

The announcement by Defence Secretary Des Browne came hours after the family of Private Harry Farr, who was shot for cowardice during the conflict aged just 25, revealed that he was to be pardoned.

In 1998, then Armed Forces Minister John Reid turned down calls for executed soldiers to be pardoned.

But earlier this year it emerged that Mr Reid, as Defence Secretary, was reconsidering the decision.

26 out of 306 soldiers to be pardoned were Irish-born.