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Soldier's Don'ts

Courtesy of http://huntermilitaryhistory.net.au  
The following list of "Soldier's Don'ts" which were prepared for the guidance of Australia's soldiers and published in the newspapers in April 1915. At the time of publication they were no doubt discussed with a great deal of interest by all ranks, and the reading public. These "Soldier Don'ts" contained a wealth of information with regard to international law compressed into a very small space, and provided for practically every contingency that a soldier might be called upon to face without someone to guide him. The list contains twenty seven points.
  1. Don't show the white flag unless your officer orders you to.
  2. Don't stop firing or advancing because the enemy shows a white flag till your officer orders you to do so.
  3. Don't, however, fire deliberately at the man showing the flag.
  4. Donít have any friendly chat with the enemy; he is just as likely to be treacherous as not.
  5. Don't kill a man who has thrown his arms down as a sign that he has ceased to resist.
  6. Don't be heartbroken if you kill such a one by mistake; it is his fault for having resisted up till too late.
  7. Don't fail to shoot a wounded man who continues to fight; he is quite right to do so, but you cannot be expected to treat him differently from a "hale" man.
  8. Don't hide your weapons or your uniform.
  9. Don't spare an enemy who does the same; haul him to your officer and let him deal with him.
  10. Don't rub or file your bullets; if you are caught with such bullets on you, you will be shot, and serve you right.
  11. Don't shoot a spy offhand; he is doing a very plucky thing and deserves a trial. All the same, don't let him off, and don't give him time to make up a story.
  12. Don't become a prisoner of war if you can help it, they will be getting short rations by June.
  13. But, if caught: Don't resist your guards.
  14. Don't refuse to work; you have no right to jib at any work except such as is connected with the fighting actually in progress.
  15. Don't refuse to give your name and regiment; it doesn't do any good, and your people won't know what has become of you.
  16. Don't fail to escape if you get a chance.
  17. Don't maltreat prisoners of war when first captured, or take their private property.
  18. Don't fail to shoot a prisoner of war who tries to escape.
  19. Don't fail to shoot a prisoner of war trying to assist the enemy.
  20. Don't fail to shoot a prisoner of war who assaults you viciously.
  21. Don't fail to down a prisoner of war who resists you in any other way.
  22. Don't torture a prisoner for information.
  23. Don't give parole except through your officer.
  24. Don't act treacherously or in any way which has a hint of meanness in it.
  25. Don't let yourself be caught by the others acting treacherously.
  26. Don't be a brute because the enemy is one. If he breaks the laws you may be sure that some suitable punishment will be thought out and inflicted; but, as for yourself,
  27. Don't go beyond your rights, and do as you would be done by.
 

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