Conscription and Conscience

Conscientious_Objector_memorial,_Tavistock_Sq_Gardens

One of our MA in Public History students, Catharine Williams, has been doing a work placement at the National Archives. As part of her work there she produced this  blog entry about conscription and conscience in the First World War using the records of the Middlesex Military Tribunal. It’s a great piece on the process of applying for military exemption and the reasons given by the men for not going ‘to murder and butcher people’. There are also a couple of interesting comments including one by someone who staged a play based on the experiences of a conscientious objector. See here for the post.

The photograph above is of the Conscientious Objectors Commemorative Stone in Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury, London. It is designed to commemorate the struggle of  conscientious objectors past and present and was coordinated by the Peace Pledge Union. It was unveiled on May 15th 1994 – International Conscientious Objectors Day.