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The Officially Branded Coward
by Ian Cameron

The crime was panic and shell shock,
too scared to face the front line.
Only hours after the court-martial,
his death warrant had already been signed.

Marched from the cell to the courtyard,
praying for the help of God.
The officially branded coward,
was marched to the firing squad.

The final walk to be tied to the post,
looking up at the morning sun rise.
White cloth placed upon his heart.
and a blind fold put over his eyes.

The officer in charge gave the command
for the young frightened boy to die.
The six men raised their rifles.
Ready, aim, fire!

Ian Cameron 2002

Detail from the memorial to the
306 soldiers shot for cowardice or desertion
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Tuesday 14 February 2006