The David Mitchell Archive of Military Nonconformity

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection consists of correspondence, articles, book excerpts, and Mr Mitchell's interview notes. The correspondence is not contemporary with the events described, but dates from the time when Mr Mitchell was researching the subject (early 1960s to 1998).

Administrative / Biographical History

Conscription was resorted to by the British Army in both World Wars and, as National Service, continued until 1963. The millions of conscripts included many people who resisted the 'military machine'. Some were unsuited to the army as being conscientious objectors to war, some were unable to grasp or cope with military discipline, some were politically opposed to war or to their commanders. In many cases an incautious minor infraction of military procedure led to the much harsher rules of military prison; but even in the 'glasshouse' there were episodes of indiscipline. The creator of the archive, David Mitchell, himself a 'misfit' in the R.A.F., was intrigued by these pacifists, military 'misfits', deserters and military criminals and has researched and written about them. This collection contains his research material.

Conditions Governing Access

Available to researchers, by appointment. Access to archive material is subject to preservation requirements and must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Acquisition Information

Donated by David Mitchell in April 2002.


In English.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of Special Collections staff, subject to copyright law and the condition of the originals. Applications for permission to make published use of any material should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian in the first instance. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.