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 […]

Film Showing: Make More Noise

The suffragettes in struggle

miscellaneous 2018 poster
This fascinating British Film Institute compilation of original footage highlights the passion and media savvy of the suffragettes in struggle, offering a fascinating portrait of British women during this time. “You have to make more noise than anybody else” said Emmeline Pankhurst. A special Bristol Radical History screening to mark the centenary of some women in Britain getting the vote, it will be introduced by Dawn Dyer, librarian at Bristol Central Library, who will provide a Bristol […]

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 […]

Remembering my father: From the Bavarian workers rising of 1918 to resisting the rise of the Nazis

Studio 1

Resisting War Poster
My talk will draw on my father’s remarkable life in Germany up till 1933. I will use it to illustrate how the Nazis first built on the defeat of the 1918/19 Bavarian workers (and sailors) uprising, a consequence of the war, by the viciously anti-Communist Freikorps. My father, having observed the early Nazis and more aware than many on the left of how dangerous they were, was later deeply involved in the almost forgotten resistance to the Nazis pre-1933. He was active in a number of […]

How to stop a war: The German servicemen’s revolt of 1918

Studio 1

Resisting War Poster
The German revolution of 1918-20 and its violent suppression is a little known event in the British popular memory. Where it is described the narrative typically commences with the mutiny of sailors from the German High Seas fleet over the first few days of November 1918. However, the numerous actions against the continuation of the war by hundreds of thousands of German soldiers on the western front during the preceding summer, have only been recently exposed by the work of historian Nick […]

Making a stand: German opposition to World War One

Studio 1

Resisting War Poster
During and after the First World War, ‘German’ and ‘Germany’ became bywords for militarism and a hundred years later commemoration of the First World War centenary can sometimes give the impression that the war was accepted without opposition in Germany, and that the First World War was fought without any dissenting German voices. This talk will look beyond German militarism at the various forms of anti-war resistance practiced by German citizens, including those conscripted into the German […]

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