‘Refusing To Kill’

Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors

From Saturday September 9th, the Remembering The Real World War 1 group are presenting an exhibition ‘Refusing To Kill – Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors‘ in Bristol Cathedral on College Green. The exhibition will run until early January. 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 […]

Life Gallery, Level 1: Dorothy and Archibald

A tragic tale of World War One victims

 A performative reading of the tragic tale of Private Archibald Knee and Dorothy Beard who died together in 1916: a mutual suicide of two victims of the First World War. Stuart Butler and Rachel Simpson will give readings from Dorothy and Archibald, a folding publication, with illustrations, produced to commemorate two tragic deaths. Designed and illustrated by Katie Johnston, an RCA graduate from Nailsworth, near Stroud, this collaborative book features texts by Stuart and Alice Butler, on the […]

Life Gallery, Level 1: ‘Taking a Holiday’ puppet show

By Otherstory

A story of struggle during the First World War - full of intrigue, escapes, comradeship...and bikes. Recommended for adults and older children. Three showings at: 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm in the Life Gallery, Level 1. Otherstory is a collective of puppeteers, artists and activists based in Bristol. They aim to tell stories that are playful and political, radical and magical.

Studio 1: John Maclean and The War After The War

This talk places John Maclean's pamphlet The War After The War in its broader international and political context. Exploring connections (and differences) between the various international socialists fighting against World War One. These include James Connolly, Eugene Debs and Lenin. In the context of Brexit, Scotland's independence referendum and Trump, with political events increasingly viewed through the prism of nationalism at home and abroad we ask what now for Maclean's working class […]

Studio 1: Refusing to fight

Conscientious Decision-Making & Martyrs or Rebels? Another side of Britain’s 1914-18 war resisters

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 […]

Studio 1: Black Lives in A White Man’s War

The impact of World War One on Africa

Few historians mention that both the first and last campaigns of World War One took place, not in Europe but in Africa. In 1914, all of sub-Saharan Africa, except Ethiopia and Liberia, was in the hands of European powers. Colonial subjects contributed people, money and resources to their imperial rulers to wage war not only in Africa but also in Europe. In both its costs and its consequences, WW1 had a major social, economic and political impact on Africa. Besides the huge human cost, the social […]

Studio 1: Mutiny

Mutinous murmuration – Ringleaders and resistance by British Army soldiers

The biggest revolt in the history of the British Army occurred during 1919 involving hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Massive mutinies by stroppy soldiers humiliated generals, terrified politicians and undermined the British Empire. British, Dominion and Colonial troops who had mostly obeyed their officers during the First World War decided that enough was enough. They demanded an end to military bullshit, speedy demobilisation and much, much more – and they mostly got what they wanted! In […]

Studio 1: Women against World War One

Bristol women campaigning for peace in World War One & “An advance of ¾d on khaki work”: Trade Unions and Manchester’s working women during the First World War.

Bristol women campaigning for peace in World War One [June Hannam] June Hannam will focus on women in Bristol who opposed militarism and sought a negotiated peace. The most high profile activists were Mabel Tothill, Annie Townley and Mrs Higgins, all socialists from the Independent Labour Party (ILP). Others, such as the Quaker Helen Sturge, had been involved in the pre-war suffrage movement. The talk will explore what women did to push forward their cause and the ideas that underpinned their […]

The War after the War

In the light of the elements of working-class economics

“Every intelligent person now admits that the antagonism among the nations of Europe that led to competition of armaments and the present world war was fundamentally due to a universal desire to secure increased empires for the deposit of capital, the enslavement and robbery of the conquered races, and the monopoly of the oil, rubber, tin, and other products of the annexed territories” – John Maclean (1918) Written in 1918, as World War One drew to its bloody close, The War after the War is […]

Smoke, Gas, Strikes, Metal and Slums

An historical walk through the Dings and St Philips

Due to popular demand, the Remembering the Real World War One history group are re-staging the Smoke, Gas, Strikes, Metal And Slums walk that was so well-attended twice last year. A two hour walk through St Philips and the Dings where Alfred Jefferies, the only man from Bristol shot for desertion, and his family lived and worked, including his brother Arthur who was killed in action on the Somme. Learn about the forgotten industries, back streets, schools and social history of Bristol in the […]

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