Making It Home Mark Rhead presents his film 'Making it Home' (67 minutes) and a photographic exhibition made in partnership with the Bellanaleck Local History Group. Making it Home is the story of eleven ex-servicemen who returned from the Great War to live and farm on Cleenish Island in Upper Lough Erne, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. A small exhibition of photographs of these ‘homes for heroes’ accompanies this screening. Mark Rhead will be at the screening to speak about the film, his […]
Being a CO in Burton-on-Trent Karen Hunt speaks about the Mid Staffordshire Appeals Tribunal and what the records reveal about life on the Staffordshire home front. Amongst the Appeals papers were a group of men from Burton-on-Trent who refused to take part in the Great War either as combatants or non-combatants. Their unequivocal stand as COs led to court martials and imprisonment. Karen explores the particular local home front from which this small group of brave men emerged and the political, […]
Time Stood Still: The Internment of Civilians at Lofthouse Park Camp near Wakefield, 1914-18 Claudia Sternberg talks about Lofthouse Park Camp which held nearly 3,000 German and Austrian-Hungarian civilian and military prisoners during the First World War and was in use until the last officers left Yorkshire in December 1919. This talk focuses on the experience of the civilian internees and shares some of the official and personal stories that were brought to light in the collaborative British […]
‘A Colour Chart for Killing’ Jude Hutchen, the artist behind one of the festival exhibitions, A Colour Chart for Killing, talks about her work and art and war resistance. Her exhibition is showing in Bristol Central Library, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TL 1 April – 3 May. ‘The Art of Recovery’ Al Johnson is a sculptor, and director of Art for Bravo 22 a programme for recovery through the arts. Al will talk about her role and the development of The Art of Recovery a sculpture project for wounded, […]
Shot At Dawn campaign This unique session brings together a number of the campaigners who worked to get the men executed for military offences during the First World War pardoned in 2006. The National Union of Journalists' Shot at Dawn Campaign banner will also be on display. Speakers: Janet Booth, granddaughter of Private Harry Farr, whose life ended while tied to a post, without blindfold, shot to death by his fellow soldiers, branded a coward despite having been diagnosed with and treated for […]
'England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity' Joe Mooney of East Wall History Group, Dublin explains how Irish Nationalists responded to the Great War. His talk will outline the difficulties of the 'Irish question', the movement towards Home Rule and the rise of armed bodies in 1913/1914. How did these conflicting groups react to the outbreak of war and the possibility of conscription - and why did some Nationalist support the war effort while others opposed it? Some saw the Irish rebellion of […]
War School Mic Dixon (Director), with Aly Renwick (Veteran’s for Peace), presents his film War School about the battle for the hearts and minds of Britain’s children (82 minutes). Set against the backdrop of Remembrance the controversial and challenging documentary reveals how, faced with unprecedented opposition to its wars, the British government is using a series of new and targeted strategies to promote support for the military. Armed Forces Day, Uniform to Work Day, Camo Day, National […]
Paying for Peace or Paying for War? War tax resisters Robin Brookes and Diana Warner talk about their campaign, with Lois Bibbings . They explain that we all pay for war through our taxes. Since 1916 conscientious objectors (COs) have had the right to refuse military service, often doing some alternative service for society such as farming or war victim relief. Citizens are no longer conscripted to fight, but are made to pay for deliberate killing through their taxes. They ask - isn't it high […]
A reading of the play 'England, Arise!' a drama telling the story of Arthur Gardiner's refusal to fight in the First World War on political grounds, inspired by and drawing on Cyril Pearce's book 'Comrades In Conscience'. Performed by Mick Martin and Cyril Pearce and followed by a Q&A with writer/director Mick Martin (www.bentarchitect.co.uk) and Cyril Pearce.
This book launch will include talks by some of the authors and time for questions and answers. Both booklets will be available to buy at the festival. Refusing to Kill: Bristol's World War I Conscientious Objectors by Remembering the Real World War 1 (Lois Bibbings, Jeremy Clarke, Mary Dobbing, Colin Thomas) This A4 colour booklet reflects the work of a community history project undertaken by Remembering the Real World War 1, with support from researchers around the country as well as […]
A Hundred Years Of Opposition To War Speakers - Lindsey German (Stop the War Coalition) and Daniel Blaney (CND)
Two critical presentations about the role of India, East Africa, Nigeria and the West Indies in WWI, including colonialism and recruitment, the impacts of war and our ongoing culture of war followed by discussion. Cultural Representations of World War One and other wars: how colonies are kept invisible. Presented by Kooj Chuhan Colonial realities of WWI: uncovering the involvement and experience of peoples from British colonies Presented by Dipali Das and Ruth Tait The Great War of 1914 -1918 is […]
Tony T presents his documentary 'Mutiny' which looks at the British Caribbean experience of the First World War and its legacies, as revealed by the last surviving veterans of the British West Indies Regiment. The film is formed of archival materials, drama reconstructions and eye-witness and expert interviews shot in Jamaica, Cuba, Guyana, Barbados, St. Lucia, Italy and the UK. (50 minutes) Tony T of Sweet Patootee (who conceived, researched, wrote and produced the film) and Julian Putkowski […]
Researching Conscientious Objectors with Valerie Flessati and Cyril Pearce This session with Cyril Pearce will be an opportunity for anyone who has been researching or telling the story of the First World War resisters, locally or internationally, to share their discoveries. As the First World War centenary draws to a close this is an opportunity to ‘join up the dots’ between CO projects across the UK, and further afield, and to look at the ‘big picture’. Valerie and Cyril will also look forward […]
New Limbs For Old ‘…when the country was crying for men and I left a good job to join the soldiers, but now when I am a maimed and not fit for manual labour, this country has no further use for us.’ These are the words of disgruntled ex-serviceman, Thomas Kelly, a private in the Gordon Highlanders; a man who returned from the First World War in receipt of a 100% disability pension, after having both of his legs amputated above the knee. Kelly’s situation was not unique, but one that was shared […]
Shot at Dawn. Evolution of a Memorial Andy De Comyn (the public artist behind the Shot at Dawn Memorial) looks at the concept and creation of the Shot at Dawn memorial. He explains how the idea evolved beyond being a simple commemoration to a forgotten group of men. Revisiting the Fallen in Ireland, 1918-2018 Mary Muldowney of East Wall History Group, Dublin, discusses how Irish commemoration of World War 1 has changed in 100 years, through the lens of war memorials. Her paper will also examine […]
Alison Ronan presents two films she has worked on and will be at the screenings to speak about them and answer questions. These Dangerous Women Documentary about the women who tried to stop World War 1. In 1915 1300 women from warring and neutral nations got together in the Hague to find a way towards peace. (24 minutes) Women's Peace Crusade The Women's Peace Crusade swept like wildfire across Britain from 1916 -1918. This film tells the story of the North West women who took part in […]
Folk singer Rosie Sleightholme (‘Utterly wonderful’ BBC Radio Wales) will sing a selection of World War One songs about conscription, politics and war resistance. The songs Rosie will perform have been used in Otherstory Puppetry’s history walk 'Steps Against War’.
Taking a Holiday is a tale of conscientious objectors and others who went on the run from conscription during the First World War – and of the networks that supported them. 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 […]
A talk illustrated with six musical interludes on Eduard Soermus, an Estonian violinist who lived in Merthyr Tydfil at the end of the First World War but was expelled from Britain in 1919. The concert in Bargoed that led to his expulsion was chaired by conscientious objector Morgan Evans (later an MP) and the debate at the concert between Bolshevik-supporting Soermus, the Independent Labour Party pacifist Evans and an outraged soldier in the audience dramatically illustrates the division of […]
BBC TV’s ‘The Monocled Mutineer’ star, Paul McGann, in conversation with Lois Bibbings from Remembering the Real World War 1 and the University of Bristol.
For this project, David Harbottle (vocals, acoustic guitar and stomp box) and Freya Jonas (vocals, harmonium and concertina) have reimagined several songs from the WW1 Conscientious Objectors (COs) Songbook. Whilst the words of the songs remain untouched, the duo have composed new vocal melodies and musical arrangements for each piece, breathing new life into the songs but allowing the words to speak as they once did. David and Freya have recorded and pressed onto CD the three songs from the COs […]
A showing of one of the Emmerdale 1918 series which looks at the experiences of Yorkshire conscientious objector Alfred Martlew. Cyril Pearce, who is the expert in this documentary, will be there to speak about the programme and answer any questions.
Otherstory puppetry will be leading a history walk using the medium of puppetry to tell the untold stories of Bedminster people who resisted the First World War, and who refused to kill. Otherstory have devised and organised the walk with local people and in collaboration with Remembering the Real World War 1. The walk will start from the foyer of M Shed, cross the river, wind its way through Southville, along North Street and part of East Street, ending up at the Steam Crane pub. At points […]
‘So British Mormons were also Conscientious Objectors in WWI?’ There were four British Latter Day Saint conscientious objectors (COs) in World War I, three Mormon (LDS), and one Reorganised LDS (RLDS) - now known as Community of Christ. They were among 20,000 COs in the UK, and little known compared with Quaker or socialist COs. They also suffered hostility from neighbours and workmates. Unlike Quakers, Latter Days Saints were violent in their early history, although Community of Christ later […]
Documentary revealing how the First World War shaped Gandhi’s rise to prominence in India and the path to independence. Focusing on the bloody mutiny of the Indian battalion in Singapore in 1915, with eyewitness and expert interviews shot in India, Singapore, Germany and the UK. The film also features archive footage and drama interpretation. (50 minutes) Tony T of Sweet Patootee (who conceived, researched, wrote and produced the film) will be there to speak about the film and answer questions.
Led by Alice’s great-granddaughter, Chloë Mason, this session will look at the campaign to clear the names of Alice Wheeldon, Winne and Alf Mason and looks back at the history of the case. Currently: Counsel are being instructed and an application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission is being constructed – the goal being the quashing the convictions of Alice, Winne and Alf for conspiracy to murder the PM Lloyd George. The background: Over the centenary, Chloë has been researching her family […]
The In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres, a cultural and transnational museum about WWI (Piet Chielens) The Ypres Salient, the infamous bulge in the front line around the Belgian city of Ypres was one of the major battlefields on the Western Front. Over 220,000 British and Commonwealth lives were lost there between 1914 and 1918. Cemeteries, monuments and the Menin Gate, the very first Missing Memorial ever built, are the main reasons why British people have visited and still continue to visit […]
Patriotic Peace Service: German Women against the War (Ingrid Sharp) Even before the war broke out in August 1914, the leading German women’s organisation was ready with a plan for a National Women’s Service offering patriotic support for the war. They organised women to replace the working men who had volunteered or been conscripted into the army, dispensed food and home management advice to struggling families, and packed comfort parcels to send to the front. But there were other German women […]
'It is up to women to start a crusade for peace!' Bradford Women’s Humanity League, 1916-18 (Eve Haskins) Existing research on female war resistance in Britain focuses mainly upon the educated middle-class women who had the time and resources to oppose the war, however the peace seeking efforts of working-class women has been little acknowledged, especially in individual regions. Recent research on the nationwide anti-war organisation the Women’s Peace Crusade has begun to address this research […]
Between 1914 and 1918, young people fought and fell on the battlefield in unprecedented numbers. Our event captures the voices of those who survived the conflict and returned to study at college or university, supported by the first government grants for higher education. The scheme for ex-service students helped individuals who would have otherwise been unable to afford higher education, and boosted the numbers in the universities. While mourning the fallen, this generation built a student […]
‘Degrees of Conscience’ (Catharina Clement) The story of three tribunals, Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham in North Kent, and how they treated their conscientious objectors. Rochester, despite its Conservative and ex-military mayor, was very tolerant of the conscientious objectors and granted most of them exemption. Chatham and Gillingham on the other hand had Liberal mayors, but were much harsher towards their conscientious objectors. This talk will discuss why there was this huge difference […]
Play 1: 'War In Mind' - John Bassett, Spaniel In The Works Theatre Company This new powerful dramatic performance looks at the lives of real people affected by shell shock in the First World War. Driver William Charles Phillips, a Tetbury man who though he never actively fought at the front, died in Gloucester Asylum from paralysis in 1917. Doctor Harold Hills, a Stroud doctor, who worked with sufferers at the Front and prevented many men being shot for desertion through his testimonies. Violet […]
A 30 minute documentary telling the stories of some of those who defied the call to arms in World War One. The bravery, hardship, sacrifice and sorrow of the combatants in WW1 are rightly remembered during the centenary. The impact on families and communities at home is also coming alive in re-discovered personal stories and many centenary projects and events. There has been less attention to those who refused the call to arms and the consequences they had to face. The challenge presented by […]
A film about the Nelson Independent Labour Party Clarion House and its role in the struggles of suffragettes and conscientious objectors. The Clarion Cycling Club was formed in 1895 after a group of like-minded individuals got together in Birmingham in 1894. It took the Clarion name from Robert Blatchford’s socialist newspaper (20 minutes).
A rich and complex history: conscientious objection to the military in the First World War (Lois Bibbings) This talk revisits what we know about objectors – in terms of their thoughts, motivations, decision-making and actions as well as how they were seen and treated – in order to reflect on the importance of portraying this (and other) rich and complex stories of protest and resistance. John Percy Fletcher, Thomas Gregory, and the Quaker campaign against compulsory military training in New […]
The Commemoration, Conflict & Conscience festival weekend will be closed by Bruce Kent of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)