Bringing it up to date
Those who reject war can still face pressure to change their views and support the armed forces. While this is not as bad as in World War I, military attitudes have increased in Britain in recent years, with military home-coming parades and the creation of Armed Forces Day.
The army carries out visits to schools, where critics say army life is presented in a glamourised, unrealistic way. The UK government recently announced £1 million more funding for army cadet forces in schools.
People who are unhappy about this – including school students, teachers and parents – have teamed up with Forces Watch, a group that explores ethical issues around military recruitment and challenges some common attitudes. Find out more at www.forceswatch.net.
Bert mentions white feathers but does not say whether he was given any. It seems quite likely.