she told me
in war painted
white crosses on men who deserted.
an aim for those
who shot them.
he was never the same after.
it happens. mistakes are made. we do not know why. the soldier died. we have thoughts, dismissed. & no one talks of it.
i dream i dream of
white feathers dipped in blood.
bloody mess wars,
bodies rotting there. there
are thoughts while stitching that
this could save the world.
a quiet thing. no injuries, the blood
comes small in useful drops.
drops down, meditative sound.
white feathers fall.
i think you find, madam, it is #reality. reports that they shouted coward.
Military justice copy/paste
British troops witnessed the annihilation of their friends on a daily basis ©Most of the three million British troops soon knew they faced almost certain death on the battlefield. Day after day they would witness the annihilation of their friends, never knowing if or when they would be next. On some occasions whole battalions were wiped out, leaving just a handful of confused, terrified men. But those who shirked their responsibility soon learned there was no way out of the horror – if they ran from German guns, they would be shot by British ones.
Private Thomas Highgate was the first to suffer such military justice. Unable to bear the carnage of 7,800 British troops at the Battle of Mons, he had fled and hidden in a barn. He was undefended at his trial because all his comrades from the Royal West Kents had been killed, injured or captured. Just 35 days into the war, Private Highgate was executed at the age of 17.