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 & 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).
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 […]
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 […]
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 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 […]
'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 […]
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 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.
‘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 […]