Who Do You Think You Are?
Communities Of Resistance
Conscience And Dissent In Britain During The First World War
The term conscientious objector (CO) embraces those who claim exemption from serving in the armed forces on grounds of religion, politics or pacifism. Cyril Pearce’s book may be considered the essential reference work on COs in the First World War in mainly large, English communities.
The author points out that while many COs were court-martialled under the 1916 Military Service Act and imprisoned, others were made to take on medical roles and other work of national importance on the roads and land. Surprisingly, after the war had ended some COs were elected under the Labour Party banner and served at national-government level.
A bibliography is embodied within the detailed notes located towards the end of the book. The book is compulsive reading, and I felt that it raised questions for further research. For example, did First World War COs become some of the COs protesting about the Second World War, or were any of the COs protesting about the Second World War offspring of First World War COs?