History walk – ‘Canting Humbugs’: Resistance and reaction in Bristol during World War One

This 1.5 hour history walk led by members of the Remembering the Real World War One history group explores resistance to the conflict in Bristol. From mass meetings of trade unionists opposing intervention in the war, to the struggles against conscription and the role of Conscientious Objectors this walk uncovers hidden histories and dispels some myths along the way. It also considers the divisions that arose amongst comrades in the labour movement, Socialists, Christians and those fighting for […]

Otherstory puppet show: Taking a Holiday

Taking a Holiday tells the amazing story of the secret beneath a Bedminster bike shop. It is a story of struggle in wartime – full of intrigue, escapes, comradeship…and bikes. What does it mean to be a refugee and on the run in your own country? Who will give you a bed for the night, a job… or a means of escape? A table top and shadow puppet show based on the true stories of ordinary people in 1916/17, and the hidden history of the resistance to the war machine. Otherstory will be performing […]

Otherstory puppet show: ‘Taking a holiday’ and research workshop

This will be the last chance to see the Refusing to Kill exhibition at the Bristol Archives and an opportunity to see the excellent Otherstory puppet show 'Taking a Holiday' and take part in a research workshop. From 1.00 pm – the opportunity for a guided viewing of the exhibition 2.00 pm – ‘Taking a Holiday‘ puppet show by Otherstory Puppetry In 1916, a man of conscription age who “took a holiday” was probably on the run from the military autorities. The show tells the amazing story of how a […]

Refusing To Kill: Walter Ayles and Harry Patch

The 'Refusing To Kill – Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors' exhibition has been at Bristol Archives since June 5th. Just as when it was shown elsewhere in the city, it has attracted lots of interest. It runs until July 14th. While including much of the material displayed previously there is plenty that is new – both from local archives and CO relatives. See Bristol Archives website here for opening hours and how to get there. Alongside the exhibition there are a number of events […]

Exhibition: Refusing to Kill

Bristol's World War I Conscientious Objectors

The exhibition ‘Refusing To Kill – Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors‘ which was in Bristol Cathedral and the Central Library from September 2017 until February 2018 is in Bristol Archives from June 5th until July 14th. The exhibition tells the story of the almost 400 men from Bristol and the surrounding area who, for moral, religious or political reasons, refused to fight in World War 1. Alongside most of the material displayed previously, there will be new exhibits. These include […]

Outcasts, Cowards and Quakers – Re-examining the Conscientious Objectors of the First World War

This talk given by Professor Lois Bibbings will consider conventional ideas about objectors alongside an exploration of who these men (and women) were, what they did and why, what happened to them and how they were viewed. A complex picture emerges which takes us a long way from stereotypical images of objectors as, for example, despised, rejected, unmanly, lacking courage and/or devotedly religious. This event is organised by the Bristol Skeptics Society and takes place at the Smoke and Mirrors […]

Refusing to Kill – Bristol’s WW1 Conscientious Objectors

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 under harsh conditions. This illustrated talk presented by Professor Lois Bibbings tells the stories of these men and the people in the city who supported them. This event is part of a series of Lunchtime Lectures by Bristol Libraries. There is no need […]

Studio 1: Starting the flame: Agitators, Conchies and Miners in the Forest of Dean

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
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.

Who Refused To Kill?

WW1 Conscientious objectors research workshop

miscellaneous 2018 poster
An opportunity to do your own research into Conscientious Objectors and resistance to war during World War 1 Bristol Central Library staff and members of Remembering the Real World War 1 will show you how to access archive sources and online databases to find out about conscientious objectors. Places on the workshop are free but limited. You can book here or by calling 0117 9037250 or email polly.ho.yen@bristol.gov.uk.

Otherstory puppet show: On the Run

miscellaneous 2018 poster
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 […]

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