THE ‘ORDER OF THE WHITE FEATHER’
The practice of the giving of a ‘white feather’ by women to men whom were in ‘mufti’ or ‘civilian dress’ had actually been instigated by a man.
In August 1914, one Admiral Charles Fitzgerald who was an advocate of Lord Roberts, with the support of a prominent female author of the day, Mrs Ward, founded the ‘Order of the White Feather’ along with 30 ‘jingoistic, zealous women.
The idea was to walk up to any man deemed ‘fit to serve’ & not in ‘Khaki’ and press into his hand a ‘white feather’ as an insinuation of a ‘mark of cowardice’.
‘Khaki Fever’ swept across the land among the womenfolk & the order’s numbers & actions grew to such an extent that the British Authorities were forced to take action to protect those men who were back in England legitimately.
They designed an array of enamel lapel badges such as ‘On War Service’ or ‘King & Country’ for those in vital civilian jobs & issued silver ‘War Wound’ badges to those who had ‘done their bit’ & been medically discharged.
‘Conscientious Objectors & Pacifists’ had a particularly hard time of it.