Room 1: England Arise! A Drama

The story of a political conscientious objector

A reading of the play 'England, Arise!' a drama telling the story of Arthur Gardiner's refusal to fight in the First World War on political grounds, inspired by and drawing on Cyril Pearce's book 'Comrades In Conscience'. Performed by Mick Martin and Cyril Pearce and followed by a Q&A with writer/director Mick Martin (www.bentarchitect.co.uk) and Cyril Pearce.

Room 1: Paying for Peace or Paying for War?

With 'Conscience - Taxes for Peace not War'

Paying for Peace or Paying for War? War tax resisters Robin Brookes and Diana Warner talk about their campaign, with Lois Bibbings . They explain that we all pay for war through our taxes. Since 1916 conscientious objectors (COs) have had the right to refuse military service, often doing some alternative service for society such as farming or war victim relief. Citizens are no longer conscripted to fight, but are made to pay for deliberate killing through their taxes. They ask - isn't it high […]

Studio 1: Researching Conscientious Objectors

‘Joining up the dots’ between CO projects across the UK

Researching Conscientious Objectors with Valerie Flessati and Cyril Pearce This session with Cyril Pearce will be an opportunity for anyone who has been researching or telling the story of the First World War resisters, locally or internationally, to share their discoveries. As the First World War centenary draws to a close this is an opportunity to ‘join up the dots’ between CO projects across the UK, and further afield, and to look at the ‘big picture’. Valerie and Cyril will also look forward […]

Studio 1: Bristol Radical History Group Book Launch

Refusing to Kill: Bristol's World War I Conscientious Objectors, and Mabel Tothill: Feminist, Socialist, Pacifist

This book launch will include talks by some of the authors and time for questions and answers. Both booklets will be available to buy at the festival. Refusing to Kill: Bristol's World War I Conscientious Objectors by Remembering the Real World War 1 (Lois Bibbings, Jeremy Clarke, Mary Dobbing, Colin Thomas) This A4 colour booklet reflects the work of a community history project undertaken by Remembering the Real World War 1, with support from researchers around the country as well as […]

Studio 1: Conscientious Objector Stories From Around England 1

Burton on Trent, Oxford and Herefordshire

Being a CO in Burton-on-Trent Karen Hunt speaks about the Mid Staffordshire Appeals Tribunal and what the records reveal about life on the Staffordshire home front. Amongst the Appeals papers were a group of men from Burton-on-Trent who refused to take part in the Great War either as combatants or non-combatants. Their unequivocal stand as COs led to court martials and imprisonment. Karen explores the particular local home front from which this small group of brave men emerged and the political, […]

Refusing to Kill

Bristol's World War I conscientious objectors

Refusing to Kill front cover
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 […]

Steps Against War

A history walk with puppets discovering untold stories of Bedminster people in the First World War

Otherstory puppetry will be leading a history walk with a difference on April 7th in Bedminster. The walk will use 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 history group. The walk will start at the Tobacco Factory Cafe Bar and wind its way through Southville, along North Street and part […]

This Evil Thing

You can't force a man to murder against his will

Anyone who saw Michael Mears’ one-man show ‘This Evil Thing’ in Bristol Cathedral in October 2017 will know what a powerful piece of theatre it is. We are now pleased to present two new performances, linked to the Commemoration, Conflict & Conscience festival at the end of April. The two performances (3.30pm and 7.30pm) take place on Sunday April 21st – Easter Sunday in the atmospheric surroundings of the crypt of St John the Baptist Church, one of Bristol’s oldest medieval buildings. […]

Mabel Tothill

Feminist, socialist, pacifist

Mabel Tothill Front Cover
June Hannam’s pamphlet examines the life and work of Mabel Tothill (1869 – 1964), Quaker peace campaigner, socialist and Bristol’s first woman councillor. It reveals how this committed social activist was part of a complex network of individuals and organisations working to improve the lives of Bristol women and men. As a campaigner for women’s suffrage and a stalwart of the Independent Labour Party, Mabel saw the causes of women and labour as intertwined. Her interest in education and desire to […]

Slaughter No Remedy, Harry Patch, Walter Ayles and the First World War

At the Assembly Rooms, Christchurch St West, Frome

For Harry Patch and Walter Ayles, the outbreak of the First World War was a testing time. From sharply different backgrounds, they initially responded very differently, Harry becoming a member of a machine gun team on the Western Front, Walter going to prison as a conscientious objector. But they ended up with the same perspective on ‘the war to end wars’. The talk will be illustrated with excerpts from television programmes made by the speaker. Non-Members £3 extra for outings or talks

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