Drunken disorderliness. Cowardice in battle. Writing bad cheques. Vulgarity. Sexual indecency. Adultery. Following courts martial for such disgraceful behaviour, hundreds of Canadian officers lost their commissions during the First and Second World Wars. Scandalous Conduct investigates the changing definitions that shaped the quintessential honour crime known as “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.” The dishonour represented a direct challenge to the discredited officer’s prestige, livelihood, and sense of manhood. Drawing on fascinating court cases never before studied, Scandalous Conduct concludes that military honour was not a stable concept; instead it depended on social circumstances and disciplinary requirements.
About the author
Matthew Barrett is an historian, illustrator, and postdoctoral fellow at the Canadian War Museum.