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conscientious objectors WW1

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mumof4 Report 5 May 2010 15:28

Please could someone advise me where I may find information about conscientious objectors. My gt grandfather was supposedly one during WW1 and I'd be interested to know what he would have done instead. Are there any lists anywhere?


AnnCardiff Report 5 May 2010 15:49

have you tried googling for information? that's usually a good place to start


AnnCardiff Report 5 May 2010 15:50

Conscientious Objectors
Conscientious objectors were people who simply did not want to fight in World War One. Conscientious objectors became known as 'conscies' or C.O's and they ... - 20k - Similar pages
World War One
A detailed section of work on World War One. Also known as the Great War or the First World War, ... Conscientious Objectors ยท Propaganda in World War One ... - 33k - Similar pages

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Conscientious objector - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In some countries, conscientious objectors are assigned to an alternative ...... WW1 article by Dr Alfred Salter, The Religion of a Conscientious Objector, ... - 221k - Similar pages
Tribunal for conscientious objectors WW1. click picture for large view. There have always been people who are committed to an idea, an ideal, a value, ... - 16k - Similar pages
World War One conscientious objectors. - History of conscientious objection in Europe - Short reading list - Advice on onscientious ... - 12k - Similar pages

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14 Feb 2008 ... Brothers at war: The WW1 soldier and the pacifist...but who was the hero? ... Bert was one of 16300 conscientious objectors who refused to ... - Similar pages
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What was a conscientious objector of the vietnams war? Men that were protected from the military draft; normally "men of the cloth." (Religious ... - 71k - Similar pages
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7 Feb 2010 ... It seems to be indicated in what I've read/heard, that this group of ... My maternal Grandfather was a conscientious objector during WW-One. ... - 53k - Similar pages
First World - Encyclopedia - Conscientious Objectors... a multimedia history of world war one ... British camp for conscientious objectors, Knutsford, Cheshire Defined as those men who refused ... - 11k - Similar pages


AnnCardiff Report 5 May 2010 15:50

if you look at the last website I posted you will see there was a camp for such people so presumably they would be on a census


AnnCardiff Report 5 May 2010 15:51

Defined as those men who refused conscripted combat service conscientious objectors were common to armies on all sides of the war. Such men would decline to serve for a variety of reasons although the primary reasons were religious (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses or Quakers) and moral - a disinclination to harm one's fellow man.

The fate of men who refused to be conscripted was usually determined by a tribunal. Although many men were permitted full exemption from military service in any form, most were expected to serve non-directly, i.e. in other than a combat capacity, either at home (in an avenue such as farming) or in non-combatant or army medical corps as cooks, medical orderlies, stretcher-bearers, etc.

In many countries, including Germany, Austria, Russia, France and Italy, members of the clergy (of all faiths) were also expected to serve their country in some form during wartime. Again, those who objected on moral grounds to the taking of lives were handed non-combatant duties, even though these might also take them to the battlefields, e.g. as stretcher-bearers, etc.

Men who refused to serve in defiance of the ruling of a tribunal were invariably court-martialed and sentenced to prison terms of varying lengths; public shame was almost always heaped upon them. In Britain conscientious objectors - conscription was belatedly introduced in 1916 with the Military Service Act - who had totally declined to serve were deprived of their right to vote for five years, although this was not always enforced. Some 16,000 men were officially recorded in Britain as 'COs' during the First World War.


George_of_Westbury Report 5 May 2010 16:01

I watched a TV programme the other night on this subject, A lot of objectors actually went into the Forces, although they did not get invovled in the frontline fighting, they volunteered for serving with the ambulance corp, driving ambulances, stretcher bearers etc.



DazedConfused Report 5 May 2010 16:19

Conscientious Objectors came in 2 kinds - Religious such a Quakers
or those who would simply not fight.
Those who refused to fight or even go to the front in an "ancilliary" part were imprisoned.
Many like the Quakers went to the front as First Aid/Ambulance Drivers & to enter No mans land to collect the injured & dead. Some quaker units lost as many man as those who were fighting.

Odd as this may seem there is a Dads Army episode where it is found out that the Arnold Ridley character was a conscientious objector in WW1, and he is ostracised because of this, but when he becomes very ill, the men go to his bedside and one of them notices his WW1 medals and turns to his sister & asks about the medals. It turned out that although he was a concie, he was very brave, went into No Mans Land & rescued men under fire. This episode is very poignant & sad. I would think that Arnold Ridley had a contributed a big part to the writing of this episode.

I am also sure that if you go to Amazon and enter in Books conscientious objectors you will find several on this subject.

Having a Conscientious Objector in your family is nothing to be ashamed of, a vast majority played a major part in the trenches and the fighting men who they worked alongside were in the main not put off by the fact that they did not want to fight.

This is a part of WW1, alongside the "Shot At Dawn" people who are only now being looked into and understood.


mumof4 Report 5 May 2010 19:43

Many thanks to all of you who have taken the time to reply. I will make good use of your information. I assume the family know so little about it as it was considered shameful at the time and probably would have been brushed under the carpet. Personally I think it took a lot of guts to go against the grain.

was plain ann now annielaurie

was plain ann now annielaurie Report 5 May 2010 19:43

Have a look at this National Archives research guide, which tells you what is available