Last spring, based on documents in the Central Library, we published details of 47 men from Bristol who were imprisoned as conscientious objectors during World War 1. For moral, religious or political reasons they refused to take part in the war. Many people contacted us having seen these names and provided us with more information about these men or other conscientious objectors.
Nationally, Cyril Pearce, has been working for many years to compile a database of conscientious objectors. To date he has collated information about over 17000 men. We have been able to access this data and can now publish details of 350 men from Bristol and the surrounding area who saw themselves as conscientious objectors. Many were subjected to harsh conditions in prison. After the war many found it difficult to return to their jobs. Others agreed to serve in non-combatant roles like the Friends’ Ambulance Service. All paid a great price for having the courage to stand up for their principles.
2016 is the centenary of the introduction of conscription; the centenary of the imprisonment of the first of these men. We will be holding a number of events to mark this over the coming months. Now we have these 350 names we want to find out as much as possible about these men and their families. Please follow the links and help us if you can
We have been collecting a list of Bristol’s conscientious objectors. The list of names that we have found so far can be found in “Do You Have A Conchie In The Family?“.