In 1917 in Britain, one of the government’s worst nightmares was developing. There had always been a ‘hard-core’ of opposition to the war on political, moral & religious grounds. Over the course of the war this opposition had developed as conscription was introduced. It began to be joined by industrial militancy as working conditions came under attack. With the February Revolution those opposed to the war could see an alternative and a way for the war to end. The authorities understood the […]
Bethesda Methodist Church, 138a Church Road, Redfield, Bristol, BS5 9HH An illustrated talk by Geoff Woolfe author of The Bristol Deserter on the life and times of Arthur and Alfred Jefferies, both of whom were born in St Philips and lived in the Dings. Both fell as victims of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Arthur was killed in action in Geuedecourt on September 16th 1916. Alfred was shot at dawn for desertion on November 1st 1916. Organised by Barton Hill History Group (BHHG).
Upper Engagement Room, The Students' Union at UWE, Union 1, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY ‘Canting humbugs’ was the way some in Bristol characterised opponents of the ‘Great War’. But it is now clear that men like local councillor Walter Ayles, prepared to go to prison for their beliefs, had considerable local support. Colin Thomas author of Slaughter No Remedy: The life and times of Walter Ayles, Bristol Conscientious Objector recounts the life and times of Bristol's most […]
Today at noon a commemoration was held for the soldiers from The Dings who died at the Somme in World War 1. (See the event listing.) In particular we remembered the Jeffries brothers: Arthur who was killed in action at Geuedecourt on September 16th 1916 and Alfred who was shot at dawn for desertion on November 1st 1916. After a few words - from among others David Jeffries the Great Nephew of the Jeffries brothers, Geoff Woolfe (author of The Bristol Deserter) and Professor Lois Bibbings from […]
Three more of the British and Commonwealth soldiers executed during the First World War were remembered on Saturday at the Shot at Dawn Memorial within the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire with a re-dedication service. The Memorial, which was unveiled in 2001, commemorates men shot for disciplinary offences in recognition that the quality of justice they received was likely to be very poor, with no legal representation and a short trial, and that many were suffering from shell-shock, […]
Dings Park, Oxford St, Bristol BS2 0QU. A commemoration and wreath-laying to remember Arthur and Alfred Jefferies, both of whom were born in St Philips and lived in the Dings. Both fell as victims of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Arthur was killed in action in Geuedecourt on September 16th 1916. Alfred was shot at dawn for desertion on November 1st 1916. A leaflet will be handed out at the event : Among the hundreds of thousands of men killed on both sides during the battle of The […]
The premier of Slaughter No Remedy a short film that studies the life of Walter Ayles a leading member of the Independent Labour Party in Bristol who was jailed in 1916 for his refusal to fight in World War One. This is followed by Watford’s Quiet Heroes a documentary telling the dramatic and largely forgotten stories of WW1 war resisters. Finally, The Unseen March exposes the contemporary policies that are increasing military involvement in schools across Britain. From the expansion of cadet […]
During the First World War Sylvia Pankhurst's newspaper, The Dreadnought was the most consistently anti-war publication. It not only opposed the global conflict but condemned the crushing of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland, supported the 1917 Russian Revolution and campaigned for a revolution in Britain. Professor Newsinger is the author of numerous books including The Blood Never Dried: A People's History of the British Empire (2006), Fighting Back: The American Working Class in the 1930s […]
'Canting humbugs' was the way some in Bristol characterised opponents of the 'Great War'. But it is now clear that men like local councillor Walter Ayles, prepared to go to prison for their beliefs, had considerable local support. A talk with video extracts. Venue: Kingfisher Cafe, 99 Burley Grove Fishponds BS16 2LE.
Ringleaders and Reds in Khaki - British Army mutinies during the First World War British Military historians and assorted flag-wavers celebrate the enthusiastic rush to the colours; the ensuing blood sacrifice of British Tommies, White Dominion troops and (belatedly) colonial formations and even military labourers. The stereotype of soldiers dutifully marching to their deaths was always a conservative mirage but only a handful of books have drawn attention to the hundreds of thousands of […]