Sunday, 7 September 2014

White Feathers

Image: Wikipedia

7th September 1914, Luton: White feathers have been sent to young single men in Luton who have not enlisted. Some of the sillier girls have been convinced by what they read in the papers that any young man not in uniform is an unpatriotic shirker. They do not seem to realise that with so many men joining the army even some former soldiers are finding it difficult to re-enlist. One young man who had served as an officer in the Territorials tried to rejoin his battalion as soon as the war began. The battalion was at full strength and he has been waiting for a commission in another regiment. He would be happy to join the ranks, but has heard that new Territorial battalions are being formed and hopes to be needed by one of them. Despite this he received a white feather in the post. It may also be that single men have family responsibilities, caring for parents or siblings, or are not fit enough to be accepted into the Forces. They say that although Lord Kitchener asked for 200,000 men to join up, over 300,000 have now enlisted and the War Office does not have the resources to equip or train all the new recruits. Even if there were cause to believe a young man may be shirking his duty and to tell him so with a white feather, it would surely be better to give it to him personally and give him a chance to explain himself rather than to take the coward’s course and send a feather anonymously.

Source: Luton News 3/9/1914 and 10/9/1914

No comments:

Post a Comment