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Cowards

by Marcus Sedgwick

ISBN 0340860618 / 9780340860618 / 0-340-86061-8
Publisher Hodder Children's Books
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

A sealed train speeds through the night around the outskirts of wartime London. As it passes through a dimly-lit station without stopping, a note is thrown out on to the platform. What is happening to the men on board? Why do they have to resort to such a desperate method of contacting their loved ones? This is the story of Howard Marten and Alfred Evans, two young men who refused to join the army in the First World War. They suffered imprisonment and punishment, because they believed it was wrong to kill. Sent to the front line in France, they were told to obey or face the firing squad. But they escaped execution, and were sent to jail instead. The 'conchies' had achieved a victory, of sorts. The government at last acknowledged the right of men like Marten and Evans to refuse to fight. [via]