Advocacy During the World Wars in Britain, Australia and Canada
Australia, Canada, and Britain offered probably the best conditions for Adventists on the issue of conscription. The British law provided that citizens conscientiously opposed to engaging in warfare might be assigned noncombatant work.
Here the British Adventists experienced little difficulty in being assigned to the Noncombatant Corps. Their biggest problems arose over refusal to do unnecessary or routine work on the Sabbath. However, the men would risk a sixmonth prison sentence rather than carry out an order to work on Saturday. And those British noncombatants sentenced to prison were supposed to serve their sentence in a civilian institution.110
By the grace of God, the Australian Adventists had won recognition of their noncombatant principles as early as 1911, when the Commonwealth’s Defense Act was being amended. Similarly, the church in Canada, arranged for both noncombatant service and exemption from Sabbath drill and work for Adventist soldiers.111