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 1914-1918 war resisters has been conditioned by the apparently stoic and principled suffering of Conscientious Objectors. This presentation will suggest that alongside that there is another story which the anti-war movement of the time and its subsequent historians has been reluctant to admit. It is a story of a less reputable sort of resistance which involved determined law-breaking and persistent strategies to defy and irritate the authorities – desertion, work boycotts, hunger strikes, safe houses, forgery, deception, an ‘underground railway’, collaboration with Irish rebels and escape to America. It will also raise the question ‘What do you have to do to be recognised as a war resister?’