From the introduction of conscription in 1916 to the end of the war each year at least 80,000 men were reported missing as deserters or absentees from the British home forces. Among them was an unquantifiable number of men who identified themselves as Conscientious Objectors. Their stories of temporary or permanent escape are a part of the history of 1914-18 war resisters which has been largely ignored.
Otherstory presents – A puppet drama documentary about men on the run from conscription during World War 1. Using table top puppetry, photographs and posters from the period, the experience of men on the run is chronicled – including the extraordinary story of a secret chamber beneath a bike shop in Bedminster – and showing the wide network of support that enabled some men to reach the USA. This will be followed by a discussion/workshop looking at the historical material used in the show with a […]
Centred around the Shot at Dawn Memorial the talk looks at how war commemoration is viewed and how an artist's approach may differ from that of a commissioning body. It also looks at how war commemoration has changed, who is included and who is left out.
This documentary looks at the British Caribbean experience of the First World War and its legacies, as revealed by the last surviving veterans of the British West Indies Regiment. Central to the narrative is the mutiny at the allied base of Taranto in Italy in 1918. The film is formed of archival materials, drama reconstructions and eye-witness and expert interviews shot in Jamaica, Cuba, Guyana, Barbados, St. Lucia, Italy and the UK. The film's researcher and producer Tony T along with expert […]
In the winter of 1968 Bristol students occupied Senate House for 10 days. Their demands included greater representation for student reps on University bodies and 'reciprocal membership' for all students in the city which would allow access, even for lowly polytechnic students, to the wonderful facilities of the newly opened University Students Union Building. Two participants in the sit-in, Sue Tate and Kevin Whitston, will start this session with brief presentations before opening it out to […]
Introduction On 11th November 2017 Colston's Girls’ School (CGS) announced that they would not be changing the name of the school, despite its associations with Edward Colston, the Bristol merchant who both organised and profited from the transatlantic slave trade. Colston was a major investor, manager and then deputy-governor of the Royal African Company (RAC) which held a monopoly over the West African slave-trade in the seventeenth century.] During Colston’s time managing and then leading the […]
Screening of short film, ‘Water’s Date with Death’ (Directed by Ali Ergül, 2017) about the threat the construction of the Ilisu Dam poses to people, archaeological heritage and biodiversity at the site of the 12000 year old settlement at Hasankeyf in south-east Turkey/Bakûr (north Kurdistan). This will be followed by a short talk about the aspirations to implement ecological sustainability, a central principle of the Kurdish struggle in Bakûr and Rojava (Democratic Federation of Northern Syria). […]
The Gallows Pole is a wonderful novel set in 18th Century Yorkshire. It is based on a true story about the Craggs Vale Coiners. Coiners clipped coins. If you look at your £1 coin, you will see the rim is serrated. This is due to the age old crime of clipping. Back in the day, silver and gold coins were actually made of the precious metal. Coiners were engaged in slightly clipping the edges off, melting the scrapings and re-pressing coins. These would then be circulated. Nowadays, the Bank of […]
In August 1917 a meeting of Forest of Dean Miners passed motions against the conscription of miners and in favour of an immediate negotiated peace to end the war. This talk will discuss the role agitators and conscientious objectors played in this process and what happened next. Ian Wright recently authored Ring Out the Thousand Wars of Old: The Forest of Dean World War One Conscientious Objectors.
In 2006 a legislative pardon of sorts was granted for some of the men executed by the British military during the First World War. However, the fight for something to be done about this – and the British military’s legal process and sentencing practice - had started during the war. This paper traces the efforts to gain justice for those men who died. It also considers resistance to ‘rewriting’ history and reflects upon campaigning and the use of pardoning here.