Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Ealing COs: More brothers in refusal of the First World War

There are numerous examples among first World War Conscientious Objectors of brothers who shared similar views, took the same stand, and suffered accordingly, including a pair from Hanwell (previously considered here). The Household brothers from West Ealing were two more, who incidentally had a Hanwell address in 1911:

Census return for 56 Elthorne Avenue Hanwell
        [with] Relationship     Marital status   Sex         Age        Birth year            Occupation        Birth place  

William Scott      Household          Head     Married                Male      51           1860       Pianoforte Fitter              Camden Town N W
Frances Clara     Household          Wife      Married                Female 52           1859       -              Bermondsey S E
Mapel Emily       Household          Daughter             Single    Female 25           1886       Clerk Motor Works          Acton Middx
James Howard  Household          Son        Single    Male      23           1888       Clerk Photographers      Hanwell Middx
William Scott      Household          Son        Single    Male      21           1890       Clerk Motor Works          Hampstead N W
Francis Scott       Household          Son        Single    Male      18           1893       Solicitors Clerk   Hampstead N W
Elizabeth              Household          Daughter             Single    Female 16           1895       -              Hanwell Middx 
West Ealing address of the Household brothers in 1916
From the Pearce Register (online database):-

James Howard Household
Marital status    Single
Occupation         Works manager
Age        28
Birth year            1888
Year       1916
Soldier Number                -
Address               80, Leighton Road
Address 2            West Ealing
Local authority  Ealing MB
County Middlesex
Country                England
Latitude               51.5
Longitude            -0.32
Ordnance Survey reference        TQ160800
Motivation          -
Military Service Tribunal                MST (Military Service Tribunal) Ealing 8.3.16 appeal on hardship (D) and as a CO (F) - exempt to 8.7.16, 17.7.16 further exemption to 20.1.17 ; Middlesex County Appeal 12.4.17 Military Rep.'s appeal dismissed                            
War Service        WNI (Work of National Importance) As manager of a works employing more than 60 people he was exempt for much of the war in a series of temporary exemptions based on the hardship his joining the army would cause. After the initial Tribunal his CO appears not to have been an issue.
WO363 false
Notes    'F' James Howard and William Scott Household, brothers
Other Conscientious Objectors in family                Yes
Sources                NA/MH47/35/77 - on line;
Record set          Conscientious Objectors' Register 1914-1918 

James's case came up before the County Appeals Tribunal, not at his own instigation but, as occasionally happened, at that of the Military Representative (MR) on the Local Tribunal (LT) who chafed at his continuing temporary exemption, arguing: "That in view of the fact that this man is 29 years old, single, and classed C.1. he should not be allowed to remain in Civil employ". The Appeal was, however, "dismissed (by request of MR in order that it may come before the Local Tribunal with other employees)" - 12 April 1917, p.3 in file. 

Middlesex Appeals Tribunal Ref. MH 47/35/77   
Description:        Case Number: M3447.
James Howard Household of 80 Leighton Road, West Ealing.
Occupation: Works Manager.
Grounds of Appeal:
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.
F: On the ground of a conscientious objection to the undertaking of combatant service

The above description is misleading insofar as it cites the grounds of the original claim for exemption rather than those of the Appeal as above. As noted by Pearce," After the initial Tribunal his [conscientious objection] appears not to have been an issue", although it may possibly have stung the MR into lodging the Appeal. His unconsidered claim for absolute exemption was founded on "moral motivation that human life is sacred, and I cannot therefore take life, neither can I undertake non-combatant service, as this would be the means of releasing someone else to do the killing which I object, on conscientious grounds, to do[ing] myself." - 25-2-16

Meanwhile, James's younger brother William was not faring so well.

William Scott Household
Marital status Single
Occupation General commercial clerk
Age 26
Birth year 1890
Year 1916
Soldier Number –
Address 80, Leighton Road
Address 2 West Ealing
Local authority Ealing MB
County Middlesex
Country England
Motivation Former Baptist who became a Quaker (Ealing PM) in 1915
Military Service Tribunal
MST (Military Service Tribunal) Ealing 8.3.16 appeal as a CO (F) - ECS (Exemption from Combatant Service) only, NCC (Non-Combatant Corps) but accepted that this would not be acceptable to him; Middlesex County Appeal 21.3.16 - dismissed, confirmed local MST (Military Service Tribunal) decision
War Service: 3 Depot Middlesex Balmer Farm Camp, Falmer, Nr.Brighton, CM (Court Martial) June 1916 - 28 days HL (With hard labour), Lewes MP (Military Prison); CM (Court Martial) (2) 31.7.16 Shoreham - 112 days HL 
War Service comments: Refused to Attest and sacked by his employers Jan.1916
Magistrates Court Arrested 27.5.16 tried at Brentford fined 40/- and handed over, to Hounslow barracks
Magistrates Court comments: Absentee
Prison: Lewes MP (Military Prison) 16.6.16; Crawley Aug.1916; 1.9.16, 8.9.16 Lewes CP (Civil Prison)
Work Centre      HOS (The Home Office Scheme, administered by the Brace Committee) 22.9.16 to 18.5.17 Road Board Camp, Denton, Newhaven; 1.6.17, 3.8.17, 26.10.17,25.1.18, 26.4.18, 26.7.18 Chelsea (Health Insurance) Work Centre
WO363 false
Notes 'F' James Howard and William Scott Household, brothers. *Letter in D/Mar/4/13 complains of the "lack of unity and Fellowship" among CO's at Newhaven.*Sacked by his employers, Michelin Tyres, because he refused to Attest - see Harvey letters. *Address in NA/MH47 also 61, Linden Road, Bournville, Birmingham
Other Conscientious Objectors in family Yes
Sources                Tribunal 15.6.16; 10.8.16; Cumbria RO(Carlisle)D/Mar/4/13, 97; FH/FSC(1916/20)/SER 31 Case file; The Friend 1.9.16, 8.9.16, 22.9.16, 3.11.16, 1.12.16, 5.1.17, 2.2.17,16.3.17, 18.5.17, 1.6.17, 3.8.17, 26.10.17, 25.1.18, 26.4.18, 26.7.18; NA/WO86/71/105; Letters 10.4.16 to 5.6.16 - including a letter from him while in military custody, in T.E.Harvey MP ([Military Prison]**) Correspondence FH/Temp.Mss.835 Box.3; FH/SER/VOPC/Cases/4(624); NA/MH47/8/31 - on line.
Record set          Conscientious Objectors' Register 1914-1918

**Because of the somewhat rough-and-ready data transfer of these admittedly complicated records to the IWM's 'Lives of the First World War', the abbreviation MP in 'Sources' is followed by '(Military Prison)', however obviously incorrectly, as for Member of Parliament here.

William's appeal to the Middlesex Tribunal asserted "Conscientious objection to war service in any form whatever", based on "a deep conviction that war is in direct opposition to the teaching and life of Christ..." and that he "should be disobeying the will of God by enlisting or helping in it, " being "fully prepared to undergo any penalty rather than violate my conscience". He had no claim in gorunds of occupation, having been sacked for refusing to "attest" (i.e. to testify to his willingness to join the forces if called up), "the firm refusing to consider conscientious reasons".

In spite of this, the LT was not prepared to allow that his objection was genuine, citing a history of attendance at different local churches and William's not being a member or communicant of any denomination, choosing to allege that such an independent position must be suspect: "As it appeared to the Tribunal that Appellant's position was as consistent with a growing desire not to fight as with the development of a conscientious objection, his application was rejected." The Appeal was likewise curtly dismissed (21-3-16), and William's letter requesting leave to take his case to the Central Tribunal was marked "too late"; such requests were almost invariably refused anyway.

William was now in Bournville, Birmingham, where he found support and a temporary refuge.

The letters referred to below are included in the extensive correspondence of T.E.Harvey MP (Friends' House Library reference Temporary MSS 835 Box 3). Notes and extracts:-

Letter from Edwin Gilbert, National Council of Adult School Unions, Bournville.
WSH left Ealing Baptist Church on account of the military atmosphere, and was recommended to the Ealing [Freinds', Quakers'] Prayer Meeting. He is a strong committed pacifist, and would not fight under any circumstances. He will however do civil work such as agriculture.

W S Houshold Letter 10-4-16 from Bournville.
Dismissed by Michelin Tyre Co. SW London for refusing to attest - after 9 years.
Returning to W13 address on 19-4.

From Richard H. Smith, Friends' Foreign Mission Association.12-4-16
Note re. Parliamentary Recruiting Committee 14-4-16, possibly by T E Harvey: "Nothing can be done." Several people have written [about this case].

From William's Fiancée Marian Pole, 63 Overstone Rd. Hammersmith 29-5-16
WSH arrested 27-5. Now in Hounslow Barracks Guard Room as far as is known.
Asking help not just for him but for all COs suffering for their beliefs.
Not a coward as he has been called; believes human life sacred.
Sending copy of unfinished letter from William:

31-5-16 WSH. Guard Room, Balmer Farm Camp, Falmer.
Have just been sentenced to 28 days in Lewes Military Prison with hard labour. Inform Mr. Smith to ask for transfer to civil prison. Medical examination - by force - for "labour at home" only.
Corporal has just been in to bully me. They are trying to get me to work today "in civilians" - others in uniform. Have not taken money or carried out any military order nor signed any army paper. Alone since five friends, COs, have gone on. Being bullied, threatened, called everything; language and what they say they want to do with me awful.
Still determined to hold out. Other COs are in khaki. Not yet been struck or damaged.
"abruptly ends".- Marian's note 
She wrote to Harvey again on 5-6-16 about getting William transferred from military prison.

The couple married that year, in Lewes - in fact it must have been shortly afterwards, since the record belongs to the second quarter of the year, perhaps while William was still in military custody. Later, as the database shows, he did get his transfer to civil prison, and eventually went on to join the Home Office Scheme for alternative employment, in the comparatively mild and appropriate form of a placement at Chelsea Work Centre dealing with Health Insurance.
Pole       Marian E H                                1916       England & Wales Marriages 1837-2005    Lewes, Sussex, England
Household          William S                                    1916       England & Wales Marriages 1837-2005    Lewes, Sussex, England

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Another CO from Bedford Park: Imprisoned in two world wars

From the Pearce Register:

William Burgess Haines
Marital status    Single
Occupation         Scientific research, Imperial College
Age        25
Birth year            1891
Year       1916
Soldier Number                -
Address               9, Addison Road
Address 2            Bedford Park
Local authority  Chiswick UD
County Middlesex
Country                England
Latitude               51.49
Longitude            -0.25
Ordnance Survey reference        TQ210790
Motivation          Religious
Military Service Tribunal                MST (Military Service Tribunal) Chiswick 25.2.16 appeal on grounds of national interest (A) and CO (F) - refused; Middlesex County Appeal 28.3.16 - dismissed
War Service        (?) [see below, W B Haines]
WO363 false
Sources                NA/MH47/9/29 - on line
Record set          Conscientious Objectors' Register 1914-1918 

W B Haines
Age        -
Birth year            -
Year       -
Soldier Number                -
Address               -
Address 2            Leytonstone (Ward)
Local authority  Leyton UD
County Essex
Country                England
Latitude               51.56
Longitude            0.0
Ordnance Survey reference        TQ309870
Motivation          -
Military Service Tribunal                MST (Military Service Tribunal) Central Tribunal 22.7.16; Central Tribunal at Wormwood S. 21.8.16 - CO class A, to Brace Committee
Central Tribunal                Central Tribunal Nos. W.559 M.213
War Service        27 (R) Middlesex CM (Court Martial) Aldershot 16.5.16 - 84 days Det., Wandsworth MP (Military Prison)
Prison   Wandsworth MP (Military Prison)
Work Centre      HOS (The Home Office Scheme, administered by the Brace Committee) 28.8.17 at Dartmoor
WO363 false
Sources                NA/WO86/70/27; Not found in NA/WO363; NA/MH47/125; NA/MH47/1 Central Tribunal Minutes; FH/SER/VOPC/Cases/4(2099)
Record set          Conscientious Objectors' Register 1914-1918

The above records appear separately on the online database of First World War Conscientious Objectors (COs) but can be taken to refer to the same person, supplementing each other's information as given in the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal file and Central Tribunal Minutes respectively. The different addresses cease to be a problem in view of the 1911 Census, which shows William Burgess Haines as an East-Ender, living with his parents, siblings and others in Leytonstone (often parental-home addresses are supplied for COs, rather than the latest residence at call-up).

     (with Relation to Head of Household      Age         Occupation      Birthplace)
Henry James   Haines  Head     Married    Male       52  Marble Merchants Manager   Bethnal Green
Ellen Mary     Haines  Wife      Married   Female      49   -                          Whitechapel
Montague Bartram   Haines  Son   Single    Male      25     Bank Clerk     Stepney
Grace Redivion Haines  Daughter  Single    Female 23      Elementary School Teacher    Ratcliffe
William Burgess Haines  Son   Single    Male      20    Research Student U Col London   Ratcliffe
Ellen Muriel        Haines  Daughter             Single    Female 19           -     Essex Leytonstone
George Cecil      Haines  Son        -              Male      11    School       Essex Leytonstone
Reginald James Haines  Son        -              Male      9         -               Essex Leytonstone
John Boyd           Haines  Father   Widower             Male      84 Retired     London Spitalsfield
Cyril Edward  Millard  Boarder Single Male  21   Ironmongers Commercial Traveller    Clapton
Frieda Elsie         Millard  Visitor   -              Female 6              -              Essex Leytonstone

About some other "Bedford Park People"
W B Haines was living in Bedford Park in 1916

Appeal (Dismissed 28-3-16)
Haines lodged an appeal on 28th February 1916 against the Local Tribunal (LT) decision not to grant him exemption (Middlesex Appeal Case Number: M213. William Burgess Haines of 9 Addison Road, Bedford Park, Catalogue reference: MH 47/9/29). Abandoning the grounds of his occupation being important to the nation, he stood as a CO:
   ... on the single count of my deep conscientious conviction, entertained for years, that as a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ I cannot take part in any military operations. This is purely an individual position, &I cannot accept the jurisdiction of the Tribunal with regard to it, - though I accept the consequences of their decision (i.e. in any punishment that might follow). This I think should be a sufficient evidence of my sincerity. In short, I ask for exemption, & quietly state that if it cannot be granted I would rather accept the alternative of punishment than service.

The LT based its decision on the unusual argument that his work had included paid research for the Admiralty which intended "to use the invention against the enemy", which would seem to be actually playing up his work's importance and using this to undermine his credibility as a CO. 

His original claim (17-2-16) was on dual grounds: "For TOTAL EXEMPTION as CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR DOING WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE." On the form, neatly typed, he gave his occupation as "Scientific Research (Physics) working as Beit Research Fellow  of the Imperial College of Science & Technology, Kensington." He stated " My main reason is that, as a Christian, I cannot take part in any military operations" before going on to explain the importance of his work. 
The claim was supported in a letter dated Feb. 15th by Professor R J Strutt (pp.6-7), who described Haines as being one of "that comparatively small number of persons who can plan and carry out scientific investigations, and whose services the country cannot afford to do without." 
The LT Notes on the case add little. "With regard to his conscientious objection, the only statement he could make was that he believed in the Sermon on the Mount, and as far as he understood it, he was not able to take part in the War." 

The Military Representative brought out the matter of being useful for the Admiralty, Haines acknowledging that results of the work - electrical and "nearly always theoretical" - "might have good or evil uses". This is summed up in a careless final sentence (p.9, right).

The "W B Haines" record shows some of what happened after the appeal was rejected and he was "deemed to be enlisted":
  • Court Martial, Aldershot 16.5.16 sentenced to 84 days detention, Wandsworth Military Prison. (Court Martial and imprisonment were routine for COs who refused to obey an order). 
  • Case considered by Central Tribunal 22.7.16; Central Tribunal at Wormwood Scrubs 21.8.16 
  • Judged to be a CO class A, i.e. genuine, and referred to the Brace Committee for alternative service
  • Work Centre (The Home Office Scheme, administered by the Brace Committee) 28.8.17 at Dartmoor
It is not clear how long it was before he could resume his scientific career, although it was back on track by 1921 and when he did so his claim about its importance was justified by results. When he died in 1963 he rated an obituary in the leading science journal, Nature
An obituary in Nature, 4th May 196.3, doesn't mention the First World War
DR. WILLIAM BURGESS HAINES, who died suddenly last March, joined the Soil Physics Department, Rothamsted Experimental Station*, as one of its earliest members, in 1921. He was the first to show, by simple, but elegant, experiments that the moisture content in porous bodies like soil displays hysteresis... #This work… led to a clear understanding of water distribution and movement in soil, as affected by weather, cultivations, and vegetation. Nature 198, 434
*Rothamsted Research, previously known as the Rothamsted Experimental Station and then the Institute of Arable Crops Research, is one of the oldest agricultural research institutions in the world, having been founded in 1843. 
#Hysteresis is the dependence of the state of a system on its history. For example, a magnet may have more than one possible magnetic moment in a given magnetic field, depending on how the field changed in the past.
Hysteresis: the phenomenon in which the value of a physical property lags behind changes in the effect causing it, as for instance when magnetic induction lags behind the magnetizing force.

The Nature obituary is reticent about Haines experiences in the Second World War - when the question of being a CO did not arise for him - as well as silent about the First. It is not perfectly accurate in stating that he was in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp throughout the Second. He was indeed interned, but only after another ordeal, having been a passenger on the HMS Giang Bee, which was sunk by a Japanese destroyer on 13th February 1942. There were 300 or more on board, mostly refugees escaping from Singapore towards Batavia; 104 people were listed as survivors in 1943 by the Netherlands-Indies Red Cross from information supplied by witnesses at Palembang internment camp. Almost all survivors had ended up in this "migratory" camp. Haines was among the minority who survived once again; the camp had a death rate of 55% for men.

Addison Road, just north of Bath Road (where fellow-CO Howard Travers lived),
is shown on a 1938 map at Turnham Green. It is now called Addison Grove.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

First World War COs: Another from Chiswick

COs who appealed on explicitly non-religious grounds against conscription are comparatively rare, especially when they do not make reference to another, political ideology. The case of one such from Ealing has already been considered here, and James Churchman may be counted too; the list of 29 "Chiswick" records from the Pearce Register supplies another.

Howard Martin Otho Travers
Marital status    Single
Occupation         Architect, designer, craftsman - stained glass and illustrations
Age        30
Birth year            1886
Year       1916
Death year          1948
Soldier Number                -
Address                 1, Bath Road
Address 2            Bedford Park
Local authority  Chiswick UD
County Middlesex
Country                England
Latitude               51.49
Longitude            -0.25
Ordnance Survey reference        TQ210790
Motivation          Moral objections NOT religious
Military Service Tribunal                MST (Military Service Tribunal) Chiswick 2.3.16 appeal as a CO (F) - ECS (Exemption from Combatant Service) only; Middlesex County Appeal 10.4.16 - dismissed
War Service        FAU (Friends' Ambulance Unit) May 1916 to Jan.1919. Jordans. King George Hospital; London Office; Uffculme Hospital, Birmingham. Demob. 4.1.19
WO363 false
Sources                List of Members of the Friends Ambulance Unit 1914-1919 (London, 1919); Letter 13.4.16 in T.E.Harvey MP ([Military Prison]) Correspondence Friends House Temp.Mss.835 Box.6; NA/MH47/10/67 - on line; FH/FAU (Friends' Ambulance Unit) 1914-1919 Personnel Record Cards Series 1 and 2.
Record set          Conscientious Objectors' Register 1914-1918

Howard Travers, like his fellow citizen James Churchman, appealed at County level against the decision of the Local Chiswick Tribunal, so that some of his own words are available on file:
MH 47/10/67 (Reference)
Case Number: M446.
Howard Martin Otho Travers of 1 Bath Road, Bedford Park. Occupation: Architect, Designer and Craftsman.
Grounds of Appeal:
F: On the ground of a conscientious objection to the undertaking of combatant service.
He made his appeal for total exemption, against the Chiswick Tribunal decision, on 4th March 1916 (p.6 in the file), stating:
"I believe warfare between nations to be a barbarous & discredited method of setteling [sic] international differences, and I look to the future common unity of the peoples of all nations. In my firm opinion war will not be ended by the use of armed force, which inevitably fosters and encourages a spirit of hatred and revenge, - but by an increasing number of citizens remaining true to their convictions & therefore refusing to take part in war, whatever the pretext for which it is waged." He had used the same form of words on his original application, dated 25-2-1916 (p.9).

The Local Tribunal (LT) justified its decision to grant exemption from combatant service only (ECS) by arguing that he had not shown sufficient reason for total exemption:
"Applicant objected to the military oath but was otherwise prepared to help wounded persons whether or not they were soldiers.
"Applicant was not of any particular religious body - his religion was his own ideal and there was no sanctionary ratification thereof except his self respect or his mind..."

Notes on his case indicate how far he and the LT Chairman were from a meeting of minds, the latter being fixated on the idea of "sanction" and denying any validity to the concept of an autonomous individual conscience uncoerced by an external "Power" and  unconstrained by fear of "peril" (hell-fire). The Military Representative and a Mr. Ward chipped in too, the former asserting: “If I had a conscience like yours, I should refuse to pay taxes” (thus implying that the CO was genuine). Travers defended himself articulately, making some telling points and exposing the prejudices and woolly thinking of his inquisitors, but his arguments were predictably unsuccessful.

Howard Travers did not take the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal decision as final, and made a further application, for leave to appeal to the Central Tribunal. The Appeal Tribunal refused to grant this, as usual in their dealings with COs who rejected ECS.

The file contains a handwritten page about his work, in which he argues that it is "useful in an economic and commercial sense" and refers to some of it being exhibited, at the invitation of the Board of Trade, at the Ghent and Paris Exhibitions. He also claims to have made a special study of modern German work, and asserts his knowledge is of practical use. A typed letter from the Director of Art at the Board of Trade (Exhibition Branch) dated 4th April 1916 reports what has been heard from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs regarding the safety of the (unspecified) exhibits, which he is assured are in safe keeping, not in any danger, until the situation permits their transport. The Government, however, "in accordance with their usual practice will not insure themselves against their liability in case of loss."

On 13th April Travers wrote to Quaker MP and CO supporter T E Harvey, frankly emphasising his appeal had been on "moral - not religious grounds" and saying he had called at the office of the Friends Ambulance Unit  (FAU, Quaker) and found that their work was such that he felt he could very gladly contribute. The Secretary indicated willingness to accept his services, subject to the Authorities' agreement. This had apparently been withheld, and he asked for advice as to whether the decision could be reconsidered. That he was successful is confirmed by his record as above,  "FAU (Friends' Ambulance Unit) May 1916 to Jan.1919... Demob. 4.1.19." (Sources in Friends House Library, Euston).
1 Bath Road, Bedford Park: Travers' address in 1916
"That enchanted suburb" pre-1914
was the setting for a 2013 novel...
... featuring some of its more notable residents.
As an artist, Travers would have fitted in well.