James Coward and the White Feather

James Coward and the White Feather.


My grandfather’s brother was working for a gas company when WWI began. About two years later, while he was travelling on a train, a woman dropped a white feather in his lap. This was a symbol of cowardice. Even though he was widowed with a dependant child, he was so ashamed he immediately enlisted. On the 13th October 1916 James Coward was sent to the 1st Queens’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment. In less than 12 months he had been killed. He died of wounds received in action on 4th October 1917. After four months of research I not only learnt his tragic story, but witnessed the propaganda and attitudes of the time. I was also lucky enough to contact some of his direct descendants.

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