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

U.S. President Bill Clinton wipes his eyes as First Lady Hillary Clinton, Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair and wife Cherie look on at the bomb site prior to a walkabout in the shattered heart of Omagh September 3, 1998. Clinton met survivors and visited the site of the August 15 bomb blast which killed 28 people and injured more than 200 hundred. Photo by Martin McCullough / Reuters
Bill Clinton: The Peacemaker

In recognition of his extraordinary role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland, Irish America honors former President...

More

From left: Garrett Doyle, Kildare Association of New York; Peter Carey, Chief  Executive, Kildare County Council; Mayor of Kildare, Councillor Brendan Weld; Kevin O’Malley, Ambassador of the United States of America; Mike Flood,  Kildare Association of New York; and Marian Higgins, County Librarian of Kildare attend the unveiling of the Naas statue last year.
John Devoy Stands Again
in Kildare

Last October, a statue of John Devoy was unveiled in Naas, Co. Kildare, the New York Fenian’s home county, aided...

More

The mayor of Kerry Pat McCarthy (center left with chain) and the mayor of Tralee Tom McEllistrim (center right with chain) with members of the county council at the launch of Tralee 800 this year. Photo By Domnick Walsh © Eye Focus LTD
Tralee Celebrates 800 Years

Tralee, the capital of County Kerry, has reached the ripe old age of 800. Founded in 1216 by John FitzThomas...

More

Gracie Mansion.  January 21, 2010.  Ed Reed
Surprising Irish Links in NYC’s Mayoral Mansion

Built between 1799 and 1809 by Ezra Weeks, Gracie Mansion is the mayoral residence in New York, and it’s likely that...

More