Bristol – Hot spot of resistance to World War One

An excellent new book Communities of Resistance has just been published which takes a systematic look at the networks of war resisters connected to conscientious objectors in World War One. Based upon a nationwide survey of COs it appears Bristol was a hot spot of war resistance as the author, Cyril Pearce, explains: The work which has resulted in this new book, Communities of Resistance, began almost twenty years ago in a study of the 1914-1918 anti-war movement in Cyril Pearce's home town of […]

Refusing to Kill

Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors research

Refusing to Kill front cover
Usage license Introduction Based upon recent research by academic researchers and local historians, this page contains materials made available under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0) for primary and secondary schools and colleges. They are intended to be relevant to a range of subjects (in particular, history, religious education, citizenship, the humanities more generally and may provide the basis of project work). The material will be added to as the project evolves. To find out […]

Steps Against War

Resistance to World War 1 in Bedminster

Front cover showing two puppets from the history walk
In World War 1 there were at least 40 conscientious objectors in Bedminster, as well as others who resisted the war and conscription. Fred Berriman took an uncompromising stand and faced repeated prison sentences. Annie Chappell co-ordinated a network of support for objectors. William Livingston went on the run in Scotland with London anarchists. George Barker and Walter Told excavated a secret chamber beneath a bike shop to hide objectors and deserters. These individuals were part of a network […]

Bedminster War Resisters

Digital map with history walks

A map of resistance to World War 1 in Bedminster, a district of South Bristol. It shows the homes of over 40 Conscientious Objectors and others who took part in resistance to World War 1, as well as places where they worked, met and organised, and other sites of significance. The map grew out of research for Steps Against War, a history walk created by Otherstory and a group of local people, in collaboration with Remembering the Real World War 1. The project was supported by the National Lottery […]

Screening of Steps Against War film

Local History through Puppetry

Earlier this year, a group of local people worked with Otherstory and Remembering the Real WW1 to discover untold stories of Bedminster people in the First World War. Together we created Steps Against War, a history walk with puppets to tell these stories: The 40 Bedminster men who refused to fight: who went to jail, or who took to the hills; the local detective always on their tracks; the women running networks of resistance - and the secret hideaway at the heart of Cannon Street... Come and […]

Film Premiere: Steps Against War

Bedminster History Through Puppetry

Bedminster Library, 4 Bedminster Parade, Bristol BS3 4AQ Earlier this year, a group of local people worked with Otherstory and Remembering the Real WW1 to discover untold stories of Bedminster people in the First World War. Together we created Steps Against War, a history walk with puppets to tell these stories: The 40 Bedminster men who refused to fight: who went to jail, or who took to the hills; the local detective always on their tracks; the women running networks of resistance - and the […]

The South West Tribunal

Conscientious Objectors in WWII

Foreword During the Second World War, over 60,000 men and 1,000 women applied to register as conscientious objectors (COs) in England, Wales and Scotland. Although this was at least three times as many as in the First World War; it has remained something of an under reported history. The experience of First World War and Second World War COs vary in a number of ways. Sympathetically framed legislation and the fact that the tribunals came under the auspices of the Ministry of Labour rather than […]

The Art and Nature of Conscience

'The Art & Nature of Conscience' explores World War 1 conscientious objectors' thinking about conscience alongside their words and artwork. It also show-cases contemporary artists' reflections on these men, including a new piece by Stephen Raw, 'The Absolutist’s Position' (pictured).