RefGB 1103 AGD.
LocationHeritage Quay, University of Huddersfield
Name of creator:Arthur Gardiner was a dyer's labourer (wool and textile worker) and a representative of the Dyers’ and Finishers Union on the Trades Council in Huddersfield. A socialist, Gardiner became the most notable of Huddersfield's 117 Conscientious Objectors who refused to be called up when conscription was introduced in 1916. Gardiner’s appearance at the Huddersfield Tribunal on March 20, 1916 attracted a crowd of over 300 people. He appealed, ultimately unsuccessfully, to be exempted from all forms of military service because, “For years I have devoted my energies to the economic and moral upliftment of humanity. I am opposed to all forms of militarism as it is detrimental to the welfare of all nations.” Drawing inspiration from the women’s suffrage movement, whereby women had been imprisoned and gone on hunger strike, he refused to be placed in work centres along with his fellow socialist and friend, Percy Ellis. They were sent to jail and placed in solitary dark cell punishment. At the end of the the war Gardiner returned to Huddersfield, later becoming the Huddersfield Labour Party’s second full-time agent. He was a local councillor from 1927-1930 and 1933-1967 and also served as mayor of Huddersfield in 1941-1942.
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