The Uneducated O.A.P

The White Feather

They didn't want to go to war

They objected to the senseless slaughter

The conscientious objectors

A feather was received 

Anonymously through the the letter box

Or given to them by women

To men not in uniform

The white feather of shame

People shouted at them in the streets


Some were beaten

Or murdered

Our service personnel came home

As heroes 

And quite rightly so

But sometimes

Only sometimes

When you stand up for what you believe in

Does it not take courage

To be regarded

As a coward?







  • dusk arising

    Most definitely we should remember the conchies. We should also remember those forced into uniform and shot for what the services called cowardice together with the 'shell shocked' (now called PTSD) who were shot because they could no longer face the enemy.
    All are a part of the disgusting thing which is warfare.

    As a child I asked ex servicemen of their part in WW2.... none were jingoistic enough to tell me tales.... they were not proud of their experiences but were proud of their brothers in arms.

    You are right to bring these also brave people to our attention when traditionally we remember those fallen in warfare.

    Yes, I shall be posting on the aftermath of warfare ab the 11-11-11 approaches.

    • The Uneducated O.A.P

      Thanks dusk, I sometimes wonder what I would do if I was of that time when the letter dropped through the letterbox calling me up for national service. Shot at if you went, shot if you didn't. Being a conchie was not the easy option.but then, in war there is no easy option.

    • L. B. Mek

      'When you stand up for what you believe in
      Does it not take courage
      To be regarded
      As a coward?'
      Telling write and timely words, good write

      • The Uneducated O.A.P

        Thanks L.B.M.for stopping by, comments on my simple words mean a lot.

      • orchidee

        Yes, good write Bill.

      • Fay Slimm.

        A commendable write Bill.So many were treated abominably after that white feather and we should remember those whose conscience forbade them to kill - also the poor souls who through shock were unable to fire or fight again and were without courtmartial taken and shot........ so goes the way of all war.

        • The Uneducated O.A.P

          Thanks Fay for your much appreciated read and comments, All it takes is err, one raving lunatic in charge of a country upsetting all and sundry and off it starts again.

        • Romantic Bloom

          Wow! That is harsh! Never knew people who resisted the draft! I heard of those who went AWOL

        • Goldfinch60

          Yes we should remember all the people during those horrendous times. We all have our differing beliefs and being forced to kill a stranger is so wrong in many peoples eyes but only the strong said they would not do it.
          Like d a, I have asked people who were in the war what they did, all of them would not speak of it.


          • The Uneducated O.A.P

            Thanks Andy, our dads rarely spoke of their times, my father in law was a medic on the beaches, we can only imagine the horrors he witnessed.

          • Michael Edwards

            Indeed they should be remembered. It makes me wonder what would have happened at the time of the ill-conceived invasion of Iraq if conscription were in place - how many would have refused to fight?

            • The Uneducated O.A.P

              There would have been a government dept set up to deal with it. Lol.
              Thanks for the read Mr E.

            To be able to comment and rate this poem, you must be registered. Register here or if you are already registered, login here.