At Poole's trial, held in the town of Poperinghe
on 24 November 1916, the prosecution called six witnesses. It was
variously noted that Poole's 'nerves seemed rather shaken' and that
he had confessed to feeling 'damned bad' on the morning of 5 October.
Two men spoke in Poole's defence, including an RAMC officer who
argued that the 'mental condition' of the accused had precluded
him from intentionally deserting his company. In his own testimony,
Poole outlined his recent medical problems and confessed that he
had been unaware of 'the seriousness of not going to the front line
on Oct 5th'.
Despite defence pleas, however, the five-man court found Poole
guilty of desertion and sentenced him to 'death by being shot'.
This verdict was confirmed by Sir
Douglas Haig on 6 December 1916, three days after a medical
board sent to examine Poole concluded that 'he was of sound mind
and capable of appreciating the nature and quality of his actions'.
Poole was executed by firing squad in Poperinghe town hall on 10
December 1916. He was buried in the town's military cemetery.