Over 580 men from the Bristol area refused to fight in World War 1. They claimed the status of conscientious objector (CO) for moral, religious or political reasons. Some agreed to take non-military roles while others spent much of the war in prison, often under harsh conditions.

This booklet and the exhibition on which it is based tell the story of these COs and the men and women who supported them. It also briefly considers COs in World War 2 as well as the position for present day members of the armed forces who develop conscientious objections.
Visitors to the exhibition commented…

‘Fantastic — these stories need telling, they need to be remembered.’

‘I had no idea one could object to any of the world wars, great eye-opener!’

‘Fascinating exhibition — what brave men and women — inspirational.’

‘Wonderful to see the role of women in the CO movement — I was totally unaware.’

‘This exhibition is a challenge to me. I don’t think I’m brave enough to stand up for my beliefs.’

‘Excellent explanations and great original documents. Some new heroes and lots to think about.’

‘Thank you. I enjoyed this exhibition enormously and found it very moving.’

Refusing to Kill will be available from outlets and distributors from May 2019

Buy this book

£10.00 inc PP

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Refusing to Kill Front CoverRefusing to Kill Back Cover


  1. Looks like a fine booklet about Bristol C.O.s – can you advise how to order a copy?
    I live in Scotland and I am currently trying to find out more about an absolutist named Andrew Russell, a member of the Glasgow Socialist Labour Party. He was released under amnesty early April, 1919, from Duke Street prison in Glasgow. Many thanks.

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