A 2 hour walk around St Philips and the Dings.
Alfred Jefferies lived in St Philips before 1914, he was shot for desertion in France On 1st November 1916. We will walk around the area, highlighting forgotten industry, back streets, schools, and social history.
The years leading up to 1914 saw a wave of strike action across Britain; at the same time there were fears of war with Germany whipped up by the press and in popular culture. Some like Bristol’s Trade Union Leader Ernest Bevin argued that workers’ interests were the same worldwide and that war would be disastrous. Nevertheless, when war broke out, patriotism won out over international brotherhood. Thousands of workers were persuaded to sign up to Kitchener’s army, including hundreds who worked in Bristol’s factories.
Initial enthusiasm, however, began to wane as recruits faced the harsh reality of warfare. Soldiers began to desert as early as September 1914. One was Alfred Jefferies, from St Philips in Bristol, who was executed by firing squad in 1916. He fought alongside his brother Arthur, who was killed in action that year in the Somme valley.
Start and finish: Temple Meads station forecourt.
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There is also a Bristol Radical History Group pamphlet about Alfred Jefffries.