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 […]

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 […]

Rosie Sleightholme

WW1 songs about conscription, politics and war resistance

Folk singer Rosie Sleightholme (‘Utterly wonderful’ BBC Radio Wales) will sing a selection of World War One songs about conscription, politics and war resistance. The songs Rosie will perform have been used in Otherstory Puppetry’s history walk 'Steps Against War’.

Women and Opposition To War – 2

'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 […]

Opposition to Conscription in Wales and Ireland

'England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity' Joe Mooney of East Wall History Group, Dublin explains how Irish Nationalists responded to the Great War. His talk will outline the difficulties of the 'Irish question', the movement towards Home Rule and the rise of armed bodies in 1913/1914. How did these conflicting groups react to the outbreak of war and the possibility of conscription - and why did some Nationalist support the war effort while others opposed it? Some saw the Irish rebellion of […]

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 […]

Otherstory puppet show: ‘Taking a holiday’ and research workshop

This will be the last chance to see the Refusing to Kill exhibition at the Bristol Archives and an opportunity to see the excellent Otherstory puppet show 'Taking a Holiday' and take part in a research workshop. From 1.00 pm – the opportunity for a guided viewing of the exhibition 2.00 pm – ‘Taking a Holiday‘ puppet show by Otherstory Puppetry In 1916, a man of conscription age who “took a holiday” was probably on the run from the military autorities. The show tells the amazing story of how a […]

Otherstory puppet show: On the Run

miscellaneous 2018 poster
Otherstory presents - A puppet drama documentary about men on the run from conscription during World War 1. Using table top puppetry, photographs and posters from the period, the experience of men on the run is chronicled - including the extraordinary story of a secret chamber beneath a bike shop in Bedminster - and showing the wide network of support that enabled some men to reach the USA. This will be followed by a discussion/workshop looking at the historical material used in the show with a […]