Conscientious objection and the First World War

Scope and Content

Small collection of items relating to conscientious objection including a typescript copy of a diary of an objector's experiences, printed extracts from a soldier of the battlefields of France and a dietary sheet for Walton Prison, Liverpool

Administrative / Biographical History

In March 1916 the Military Service Act allowed conscientious objectors, who could convince a military service tribunal, to be exempt from service but required service as a civilian or as a non-combatant in the army. It is estimated that there were about 16,000 conscientious objectors, with a large number being Quakers, about a third were forced into the army and then imprisoned if they continued to refuse orders.

Many objectors faced harsh imprisonment, with many dying as a result of their treatment those assigned to non-combatant roles were often given dangerous tasks for example as stretcher-bearers.

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Custodial History

Donated by TDW Reid, Stockport, 15 February 1983

Related Material

Records of the No Conscription Fellowship (Willesden Branch) [Ref U DCO]

Correspondence and journal of Robin Page Arnot as a conscientious objector [U DAR/2]

Papers of P. Smith relating to pacifism and conscientious objectors [Ref U DX76]

Correspondence of Frank and Myfanwy Westrope during Frank's imprisonment as a conscientious objector [U DX135]