No More Soldiering
Conscientious Objectors of the First World War
- Stephen Wade
15th January 2016
The enduring legacy of those who said ‘No’.
January 2016 marks the centenary of the Military Service Act, which brought in conscription after the large-scale loss of manpower in the major campaigns of the Western Front. The Act was to create a sustained and dramatic confrontation between the military establishment and the various groups of pacifists and conscientious objectors. Across the land, those who would not fight found themselves hauled before tribunals, standing before panels appointed to decide their fate – often prison or internment.
No More Soldiering looks at the lives and experiences of those men and women who would not fight Kaiser Bill’s army and suffered as a consequence, from Fenner Brockway, who faced solitary confinement in jail, to Ithel Davies, who found himself interned in Ireland. Being a ‘conchie’, it could be argued, was just as tough as facing the enemy in a trench.