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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Scandalous Conduct

Canadian Officer Courts Martial, 1914–45

A critical perspective on the ideas of honor and dishonor in the Canadian military.

Drunken disorderliness. Cowardice in battle. Sexual indecency. Following court-martials for disgraceful deeds, hundreds of Canadian officers lost their commissions during the First and Second World Wars. Scandalous Conduct investigates the forgotten experiences of these dismissed ex-officers to offer a new critical perspective on constructed notions of honor and dishonor. Matthew Barrett explores how changing definitions of scandalous behavior shaped the quintessential honor crime known as “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.” Symbolized by the loss of commissioned rank, dishonor represented a direct challenge to the discredited officer's prestige, livelihood, and sense of manhood. Drawing on fascinating court cases, Scandalous Conduct demonstrates the instability of the ideal of military honor, dependent as it was on changing social circumstances and disciplinary requirements.

280 pages | 20 halftones, 10 tables, 2 charts | 6 x 9

Studies in Canadian Military History

History: Military History


Scandalous Conduct surveys a wide body of previously unseen evidence on court-martialed officers in the Canadian armed forces. It is a fine piece of scholarship.”

Teresa Iacobelli, author of Death or Deliverance: Canadian Courts-Martial in the Great War

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