Main source for dates is David Boulton, Objection Overruled (Francis Boutle, 2014)
summer ILP pamphlet: The Peril of Conscription
October Stop Conscription meetings across country (ILP)
January 6th Military Service Bill first reading
January 27th Military Service Bill became law: men aged 18-40, single, liable for call-up
February War Office Form W 3236 sent to those liable
March 2nd Date for lodging exemption claim (poster)
March 9th 1st issue of The Tribunal (N-CF)
April 8th - 9th 2nd N-CF National Convention: Pledge by 2,000 to resist
April N-CF branch members fined/imprisoned re anti-recruiting leaflets
May 7th - 8th CO prisoners taken to France with NCC
May 17th 8 N-CF Nat Comm. members charged re leaflet 'Repeal the (DoR) Act'
May 25th Military Service (General Compulsion) Act: married men now liable
June 2nd COs' courts martial at Boulogne begun
June 15th Parade ground sentences: 35 'guilty of disobedience'
June 24th A W Evans' court martial (later than others due to illness)
June 28th PM statement: COs being shipped back
August Dyce work camp set up
September, early Death of Walter Roberts in Dyce camp
October, end Dyce camp closed
April Military Service (Review of Exemptions) Act
April 6th N-CF message to Provisional Govt. in Russia: "our comrades"
March Several work settlements closed down
May 17th Meeting of nearly 900 at Dartmoor work centre (for ‘real’ work with civil rights)
June 3rd Leeds conference welcoming Russian Revolution
June 15th N-CF Nat Com confirms refusal to sponsor or organise work strikes by COs
July Act making certain categories of aliens subject to conscription
December 12th Death of Arthur Butler in Preston; doctor exonerated by inquest jury
December Govt. "concessions" to COs having served >12 months: excluding labour, diet
December German peace offer
early Newcastle, Maidstone, Wandsworth, Winchester, Carlisle, Canterbury, Hull – Hunger strikes by COs:
January Powers to cancel occupational exemptions
January 16th Death of Arthur Horton in Shrewsbury (pneumonia); doctor exonerated by inquest jury
February Hunger strike at Newcastle over "incompetence and inhumanity" of prison doctor
February 4th Death of H W Firth at Dartmoor
February 9th Prosecution of Bertrand Russell and Joan Beauchamp re letter in The Tribunal
February, mid Police raid on N-CF premises; copies of paper seized
April 30th Lords debate re ‘work of national value’ for COs
October Work strike by 20 COs in Wandsworth (Guy Aldred)
Similar actions in Leicester, Leeds, Pentonville, Liverpool, Newcastle, Preston
November 11th Armistice: COs remained in prison
December 12th Aldred and other strikers in Wandsworth moved to basement cells
(cat-and-mouse release after a week's hunger strike)
Several 'unofficial' [not N-CF supported] work strikes by COs throughout year.
February New governor at Wandsworth tries to impose iron discipline; open rebellion continues Parliamentary enquiry, eventually
April Releases of COs begin with "2-year men"
April 29th FSC lists "20-monthers" awaiting release; 24 get out of Pentonville and Wandsworth
May Day Call for general prison strike (J H Hudson, Manchester)
May CMs continue: sentences of hard labour
June Joint Board for Assistance of COs and Their Dependants formed
January Joan Beauchamp sentenced to 21 days as publisher of The Tribunal; serves 8 days.
January 8th Last issue of The Tribunal
May 20th Announcement of orders for release of all conscripts
August 31st Official end of war: Military Service Acts lapse.
COs = Conscientious Objectors
N-CF No-Conscription Fellowship
NCC Non-Combatant Corps
ILP Independent Labour Party
FSC Friends Service Committee (Quakers)
Applications for exemption could be made to Tribunals under the following headings:
a. On the ground that it was in the national interest that the man should, instead of being employed in military service, be engaged in work in which he was habitually engaged;
b. On the ground that it was in the national interest that the man should, instead of being employed in military service, be engaged in work in which he wished to be engaged;
c. That the man was being educated or trained for any work, on the ground that it was expedient in the national interest that, instead of being employed in military service, he should continue to be so educated or trained;
d. On the ground that serious hardship would ensue, if the man were called up for Army service, owing to his exceptional financial or business obligations or domestic position;
e. On the ground of ill-health or infirmity;
f. On the ground of a conscientious objection to the undertaking of combatant service; andg. On the ground that the principal and usual occupation of the man was one of those included in the list of occupations certified by Government Departments and that it was expedient in the national interest that he should continued in such occupation.
|A group of COs with supporters|
See many subsequent posts for lots more about First World War COs.