James Lovegrove explained why he joined the British Army in 1914 at the age of 16.
On my way to work one morning a group of women surrounded me. They started shouting
and yelling at me, calling me all sorts of names for not being a soldier! Do you know what
they did? They struck a white feather in my coat, meaning I was a coward. Oh, I did feel
dreadful, so ashamed.
I went to the recruiting office. The sergeant there couldn't stop laughing at me, saying things
Looking for your father, sonny?, and
Come back next year when the war's over! Well,
I must have looked so crestfallen that he said
Let's check your measurements again. You
see, I was five foot six inches and only about eight and a half
stone. This time he made me
out to be about six feet tall and twelve
at least, that is what he wrote down. All lies of
course - but I was in!
What is the symbolism of a white feather?
How was James Lovegrove treated by the recruiting sergeant?
How much had James
grown between the two measurements?