Bristol Independent Labour Party

Men, Women and the Opposition to War

#31 Bristol ILP Front Cover
During World War One a significant minority of women and men throughout the country took part in a peace movement. They demanded the democratic control of foreign policy, a negotiated peace and a just, non- punitive settlement at the end of the conflict. They also joined with the wider labour movement to oppose conscription. The nature of the anti- war movement, its leadership and the alliances made varied from city to city. In Bristol it was socialists of the Independent Labour Party who […]

Deserters, Conchies and Reds

Bristolian opposition to the First World War

The Bristol Deserter – Alfred Jefferies – His War Story During World war One nearly 300 British soldiers on the Western Front were shot at dawn for deserting or for ‘cowardice’. One victim, Alfred Jefferies, a Bristolian, was executed on 1st November 1916. Based on official archives, including war diaries and court martial records, Geoff Woolfe describes Alfred’s tragic war story, whilst questioning the extent to which the full facts of some war events can be known. Freedom of Soul Two weeks […]

Women Resisting the Great War

The Friends of Alice Wheeldon In 1917 a Derby socialist and feminist in the anti-war movement, Alice Wheeldon was sent to prison on the evidence of an agent provocateur for plotting to kill Lloyd George. The evidence was flimsy, her accuser so dubious the prosecution kept him away from the trial. In this new, revised edition of The Friends of Alice Wheeldon Sheila Rowbotham reveals how militarism and fears about security contrived to devastate the lives of an ordinary family in Derby. The […]

WWI Resistance

Radical History Zone 2014 poster
Shirkers, Skulkers, Deserters and the 'Live and Let Live' Principle: Everyday Resistance to Combat on the Western Front in World War 1 With Roger Ball Fraternisation between opposing armed forces on the Western front on Christmas Day 1914 is part of the British collective memory; sold to us a momentary 'miracle' involving a few hundred troops. Of far more interest is the massive scale and crucially the context for these events. The everyday 'hidden' resistance of troops on both sides to the […]

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