Short Film, Coward, Dramatizes Northern Irish Soldiers’ Experience in WWI

Coward's two protagonists, Andrew and James, leaving home in Northern Ireland to fight with the British Army in WWI.
Coward's two protagonists, Andrew and James, leaving home in Northern Ireland to fight with the British Army in WWI.

By Adam Farley, Editorial Assistant
February 3, 2013

Coward tells the story of two cousins from Northern Ireland who enlist in the British army during World War I.

Directed by David Roddham, the film follows cousins Andrew and James through the trenches and No Man’s Land at Ypres in 1917. The set for the battlefield, including a 200 foot long trench, was meticulously reconstructed in over three acres of field land in Hertfordshire, England, resulting in panning wide shots  and brilliant perspective angles.

Roddham had the idea for his film while reading an article in the Irish Times on the punishment for deserting Irish soldiers in the British army during the war. Roddham quickly became interested in the historical complexities of these desertion cases.

“A lot of the guys had kind of come back and forth from the hospitals and been sent back into the trenches.  You know, some of them eight, nine times. And then that was it, they couldn’t take it anymore,” Roddham says in a documentary about making the video.

By the end of the war, 26 Irish soldiers serving in the British military had been executed for desertion or disobedience, though they were later thought to have been suffering from shell shock. In 2006, all 306 soldiers executed for such offences were granted full pardon by the British government.

The film brings to light the controversial method of dealing with traumatized soldiers at the time when diseases such as shell shock were first being diagnosed through the lens of two Northern Irish infantrymen.

Directed by David Roddham, produced by Dave Komaroni, cinematography by Stephen Murphy. Starring Martin McCann and Sean Stewart. 2012. 28min.

Watch Coward:

“COWARD” from Stephen Murphy on Vimeo.

A featurette about the making of Coward:

About “Coward” from Stephen Murphy on Vimeo.

One Response to “Short Film, Coward, Dramatizes Northern Irish Soldiers’ Experience in WWI”

  1. Bella says:

    Good article . Will definitely copy it to my blog.Thanks.

Leave a Reply




Share



More Articles

Rodney Charman’s painting “The Odessa.”
Connecticut’s Coffin Ship Art Exhibit

Aseries of art pieces portraying the struggle for survival aboard the “coffin ships” on which 1.5 million Irish...

More

Lizzie Helmer. (Photo: Facebook)
Californian Student Discovers Cork Link

A Californian student attending University College Cork had a prominent role in the centenary commemoration of the...

More

Sculptor Michael Keropian’s clay mold of the bust of  Gen. Thomas Francis Meagher that will be  unveiled at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery July 1. (Photo: keropiansculpture.com)
Meagher’s Memorial, Late,
But Not Forgotten

When General Thomas Francis Meagher died, he never received a formal memorial. An Irish revolutionary turned exile,...

More

Col. Thomas J. Kelly and the memorial plaque at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.
IRB Leader and Civil War Vet Remembered

The 150th anniversary commemoration of Colonel Thomas J. Kelly and the Manchester Martyrs was celebrated at the...

More