‘Refusing To Kill’

Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors

From Saturday September 9th, the Remembering The Real World War 1 group are presenting an exhibition ‘Refusing To Kill – Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors‘ in Bristol Cathedral on College Green. The exhibition will run until early January. Over 350 men from the Bristol area refused to fight in World War 1. They claimed the status of conscientious objector for moral, religious or political reasons. Some agreed to take non-military roles. Others spent much of the war in prison, often […]

Turbulence

Labour and Gender Relations in Bristol’s Aircraft Industry during the First World War

Turbulence Front Cover
Turbulence describes how the expanding armaments industry of the First World war drew thousands of unskilled and semi-skilled workers – women as well as men- into Bristol’s aircraft factories. Skilled men in the workforce resented their arrival. They also defended their own exemption from military conscription. Opposition to the dilution of skills through changes in the production process sometimes combined with traditional male hostility towards women at the work place. Nevertheless the […]

Life Gallery, Level 1: Dorothy and Archibald

A tragic tale of World War One victims

 A performative reading of the tragic tale of Private Archibald Knee and Dorothy Beard who died together in 1916: a mutual suicide of two victims of the First World War. Stuart Butler and Rachel Simpson will give readings from Dorothy and Archibald, a folding publication, with illustrations, produced to commemorate two tragic deaths. Designed and illustrated by Katie Johnston, an RCA graduate from Nailsworth, near Stroud, this collaborative book features texts by Stuart and Alice Butler, on the […]

Life Gallery, Level 1: ‘Taking a Holiday’ puppet show

By Otherstory

A story of struggle during the First World War - full of intrigue, escapes, comradeship...and bikes. Recommended for adults and older children. Three showings at: 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm in the Life Gallery, Level 1. Otherstory is a collective of puppeteers, artists and activists based in Bristol. They aim to tell stories that are playful and political, radical and magical.

Studio 2: Wales and Socialism Before the Great War

The universal and the particular in the growth of a new movement

Socialism, which presented itself as a new and exciting ideology in the Britain of the 1880s, was essentially universalist in nature. It proposed a set of solutions to the problem of capitalism that were in theory applicable to all societies, and it derided what it saw as divisive particularisms such as nationalism. In reality, though, socialists had to apply their universalist ideas to particular situations wherever they presented their ideas. The growth of socialism in Wales from the 1880s to […]

Studio 1: John Maclean and The War After The War

This talk places John Maclean's pamphlet The War After The War in its broader international and political context. Exploring connections (and differences) between the various international socialists fighting against World War One. These include James Connolly, Eugene Debs and Lenin. In the context of Brexit, Scotland's independence referendum and Trump, with political events increasingly viewed through the prism of nationalism at home and abroad we ask what now for Maclean's working class […]

Studio 1: Refusing to fight

Conscientious Decision-Making & Martyrs or Rebels? Another side of Britain’s 1914-18 war resisters

Conscientious Decision-Making [Lois Bibbings] This talk gives a brief insight into what First World War conscientious objectors to military service meant when they talked about 'conscience' or the reasoning behind their decision and how their beliefs or thinking impacted upon the course of action they took during conscription. It does so by telling stories about a few of those who objected. Martyrs or Rebels? Another side of Britain’s 1914-18 war resisters [Cyril Pearce] Our view of Britain’s […]

Studio 2: Bristol Radical History Group highlights

Lady Blackshirts, The Smoke Dragon, Bristol's Aircraft Industry, From Wulfstan to Colston

                  A series of 10 minute 'taster talks' covering recently or soon to be published Bristol Radical History Group texts. These include: Lady Blackshirts: The Perils of Perception – suffragettes who became fascists [Rosemary Caldicott] During the 1930’s a small group of ultra-nationalistic women, who considered themselves feminists, joined Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists. Surprisingly some of these women were former high ranking […]

Studio 1: Black Lives in A White Man’s War

The impact of World War One on Africa

Few historians mention that both the first and last campaigns of World War One took place, not in Europe but in Africa. In 1914, all of sub-Saharan Africa, except Ethiopia and Liberia, was in the hands of European powers. Colonial subjects contributed people, money and resources to their imperial rulers to wage war not only in Africa but also in Europe. In both its costs and its consequences, WW1 had a major social, economic and political impact on Africa. Besides the huge human cost, the social […]

Studio 1: Mutiny

Mutinous murmuration – Ringleaders and resistance by British Army soldiers

The biggest revolt in the history of the British Army occurred during 1919 involving hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Massive mutinies by stroppy soldiers humiliated generals, terrified politicians and undermined the British Empire. British, Dominion and Colonial troops who had mostly obeyed their officers during the First World War decided that enough was enough. They demanded an end to military bullshit, speedy demobilisation and much, much more – and they mostly got what they wanted! In […]

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