Conscientious Objectors

Discussion in 'WWI (1914 - 1918)' started by Mutters, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. Mutters

    Mutters I am not bossy, I just have better ideas.

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    If you think you may have conscientious objectors in your family tree there are
    five very interesting films by Ian Hislop entitled Not Forgotten on You Tube. There are several film clips from WW1 which may be of interest regardless of whether your ancestors were conscientious objectors or not.

    We are not allowed to post the direct links to You Tube but you can insert the lines into google search or find them direct from You Tube.

    Not forgotten 1 of 5
    www.
    youtube.com/watch?v=Na_qVy_Nl-4

    Not forgotten 2 of 5
    www.
    youtube.com/watch?v=lCkWkL7iWpI

    Not forgotten 3 of 5
    www.
    youtube.com/watch?v=ZrpLaEVKqvI

    Not forgotten 4 of 5
    www.
    youtube.com/watch?v=DebT0hQBFBM

    Not forgotten 5 of 5
    www.
    youtube.com/watch?v=7KcDzy6UfJ8
     
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  2. The Artful Dodger

    The Artful Dodger Dodging, ducking and diving

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    While I appreciate that this post relates to an earlier conflict, my uncle suffered the acrimony of such a stance in W.W.2.

    He was handed numeous 'white feathers', my dad was victimised by his fellows for making him his best man in 1940 and Stanley was frequently beaten up as a result of his beliefs.

    He was a lovely bloke and while he died, as a result of such beatings, he didn't deserve this as his epitaph!!!

    Colin
     
  3. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    oh my, just discovered a conscientious objector in my tree ... have a WW1 service record which states that Alfred Walter Dawson was exempted from combatant service following a Local Tribunal in Reading on 13 Mar 1916

    Looking at Berkshire Record Office website, can't so far work out if they have any records but found this
    www.
    berkshirerecordoffice.org.uk/this-months-highlight/2013-archive/march-1913-prison-art-porridge/
     
  4. The Artful Dodger

    The Artful Dodger Dodging, ducking and diving

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    As I mentioned, my Uncle Stanley, was my mother's brother and my dad's best man. His physical treatment at the hands of others as well as the verbal abuse my parents sustained, I am convinced that this contributed to my grandmother's mental state of health and that was why my parents cocooned me from my grandmother. By 1949, my grandmother was in a mental ward in a hospital in London and was not allowed visitors.

    I realise this was in and after the 2nd W.W. but from my research and discussions on this subject with others, not much changed in attitudes towards such men between the 2 wars.

    Colin
     
  5. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    Yes Colin,

    it was shocking; much of the rhetoric of the time was shocking -- I have only looked into WW1 so far but from what you have said nothing much seemed to have changed. I have come across a number of discussions in Parliament (in the Hansard) which talk of the treatment of COs by the authorities and the attitudes of the public during WW1. I have read the third of these most closely (only skimmed the others as yet) and would personally like to slap the Marquess of Lincolnshire who is interesting only in that he voices a prevalent opinion of the time -- if anything the Earl of Denbigh is worse

    http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/1916/may/04/treatment-of-conscientious-objectors

    http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1916/jun/26/conscientious-objectors

    http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/1918/apr/30/conscientious-objectors
     
  6. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    Another project I have in mind is to summarise the many reports of military tribunals in our local newspaper. They make fascinating reading. Most, if I remember correctly, were appeals from employers or from the self-employed who already had lost much of their workforce and were arguing why they needed to keep a particular man in order to keep their business functioning.

    P.S. I have come across a female conscientious objector in the Second World War: a Jehovah's Witness minister who was sent to prison for refusing to work as a ward maid at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
     
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  7. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    My great grandfather was not a conscientious objector but he was a non-combatant, he was a farmer and also helped train horses and mules for Army work.

    He was subject to a different form of prejudice --- his parents were Rosa Dade and George Dowe and he was given the name Dade Dowe (along with one other sibling -- the others appear to be plain Dowe), in turn he passed this name to his three children. If the family had stayed in Norfolk where the name Dade is common he probably would not have had any problem, but they had moved to Surrey shortly after his birth. However, it was felt in Surrey that the name Dade was too German (I believe this prejudice was encountered in both wars), and eventually the family stopped using it. My uncle officially re-adopted it some years back.

    Of course the name is an entirely 'patriotic' Old English name
     
  8. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    That sounds a most interesting project, I hope you can find time for it. I understand many were jailed for refusing to accept even a hint of military authority, although happy to work in a civilian hospital.
     
  9. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

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    Genealogists should be very familiar with the surname Dade! If you don't know what I'm on about, search the net with a term like genealogy "dade registers"
     
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  10. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    Indeed! however the general public were a completely different thing, unfortunately
     
  11. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

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    For an introduction to the subject see the National Archives Guide

    Among other things it says: "In 1921 the Ministry of Health decided that all papers relating to individual cases of exemption from National Service and tribunal minute books (except those of the Central Tribunal), should be destroyed. Thus the vast majority of files do not survive"
     
  12. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    Yes Peter, I saw that last night, it is rather unfortunate to say the least :(.

    Still, I have contacted Berkshire Record Office regarding an item in their catalogue re: reports of committee appointed to advise conscientious objectors to military service, 1916. There may be nothing on my family member but it may be interesting none-the-less, and I may be lucky. Apparently newspaper reports (as Huncamunca suggests) are the way to go.
     
  13. The Artful Dodger

    The Artful Dodger Dodging, ducking and diving

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    Did the same criteria apply in the 2nd W.W.? If not may be the records are still accessible
     

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